Carrie George has been writing for most of her life. A published writer and award-winning poet, Carrie takes advantage of any opportunity she can to continue writing. She is a photojournalism major with a writing minor and hopes to incorporate her creative writing skills into her future career. As an avid traveller and passionate storyteller, Carrie draws inspiration from the places she’s been and the people she’s met along the way.
His hands were soft and he
was too afraid to love me.
I looked out the window and it
had rained. The droplets there
colored the world something different.
Traffic lights bled red across the street.
Kids walking below had legs that bubbled.
Everything was drowning.
I hate the rain.
I am tired of light-eyed boys
who pocket hate like coins on the side walk –
one more penny and it’s a lucky day
of kisses that only lead to
purple letters on my neck.
At least they started out as my favorite color
and faded back to flesh right as I began
to forget your name.
It snowed in April
and that was the last time
of the season. In the headlights of oncoming
traffic I saw winter raising its hands
one last time – a final throw
into the pool of remembering
“I haven’t been gone long,
did you miss me?”
You haven’t been gone long
and I miss you.
I said I loved the snow,
it is beautiful.
it is cold.
And for all the languages you knew
you still couldn’t understand why people
used them – how can you love language
if you cant find anything beautiful to talk about?
And I don’t mean me, though I felt
more than beautiful with your fingers
printing lightly along the solid lines
of my body, I just mean anything
that made you feel something.
I’m tired of dark-haired boys
dropping loose change in piggy banks
with nothing to spend it on – what good
is it doing you in there, saving up for a future
you’ll never see if you don’t look it in its eyes
“I’m ready to give you a try.”
I’m tired of soft-handed boys
not yet ready to give me a try.
We looked up at the stars one night
and I said
it is beautiful
and you said
nothing, which I guess
is agreeing for cowards. I’m tired
of cowards who would rather tread water
waiting for the ocean to empty itself
than ride the waves back to a shore
they’ve never seen.
Cowards who only want to get high
pressing palms and lips to my skin
but refuse to look further.
Who only want to store pocket change
on shelves and collect more dust
Next time, I want you to break skin.
I will open my stomach to you
and you will find
rainstorms in a world without umbrellas,
winters that are coldest in July,
and all of the stars you could never name
swirling and gathering and swelling
with light as old as the languages
you want to learn but
don’t know how to use – This,
all of this, is yours
if you are brave enough
to take it.
Let’s do something.
2 AM is talking and this bed is a cage—
let’s break out. Carve keys
from broken hearts and spread
our wings like we’re just learning
to fly—don’t worry,
I’ll catch you.
The moon is smiling
so let’s kiss its cheeks,
cup its warmth in our hands,
keep it in our back pockets
and share it with our brothers.
God knows they need it.
Cause, you and me, we’re like
icicles: cold, sharp, melting.
We don’t have much time to hang
from these roof tops,
so let’s spend it comparing scars
and having staring contests
with the sun—we won’t win,
but at least we’ll die trying.
At least, beneath our bodies,
flowers will grow.
At least the earth will remember
our footprints like water droplets.
When I met you, you were
a flood. Pulsing through my rib cage,
crashing into the caverns of my mind
kept unlit. You carved keys to doors
I had locked and helped me open them.
My skin folded at your touch
like a child’s origami project.
I wanted to let you in—
to swim galaxies with you and tattoo
bad jokes on our wrists.
When you left me, you were
a drought. Withering the gardens
you helped plant, draining the ponds
in my pores. I rebuilt my rib cage
like a dam: stronger, tougher,
to swallow tsunamis whole. I buried
keys in sand castles and let them wash
away from memory.
But 3 AM is talking
and loneliness isn’t just a metaphor
so let’s stick it between our teeth
and watch each other die.
Let’ tear open our rib cages
and let the world rip us to shreds.
At least flowers will grow
at our feet.
At least the Earth will remember
At least you saved enough breath
to whisper words like a rainstorm
on the dustbowl beneath my bones:
4 AM is talking
and this cage is crumbling.
The moon is waving good-bye.
It’s time to leap, to grasp
for that last bit of warmth—
we’ll share it with our sisters,
until there’s nothing left for ourselves,
until our bodies are barren
and we’ve got nothing left to lose.
Let’s ditch the moon, nosedive back to earth
and pretend we never said good-bye—
I’m not worried. You’ll catch me.
Salvation in Three Parts
Scorch memories in bonfires
and bury the ashes.
Dig demons out from under your skin.
Paint your fingernails with their blood
and shoot fire from your fingertips.
Fill in the holes they left with soil
and sun light. Let rose bushes
bloom from your pores.
Turn pillows into puddles
and splash around in your misery.
Talk to yourself
until your throat is dry and your ears bleed.
Tie old photographs to your chest
and let your heartbeat swell
with regret. Let your eyes sail oceans
Cover your pain with cheap foundation
and carry on with your week.
Extend bony fingers to the sky
and climb ropes until you're face to face
with the sun, suspended in the clouds.
Sing to the birds like those pretty girls in movies.
Swim backstroke through the air
like gravity never stood a chance.
Fill your lungs with atmosphere.
and scream to the soil below,
"I belong here."
I knew someone who told me how to feel.
Who took the leaves from trees and sent them to
the wind. He scattered breath and dreams, unreal
now that they weren’t a part of me. He drew
the earth with clouds and sky, but left no room
for me. And in the garden where I stood
he sent a winter early; my new tomb.
Alone, I wandered ghostly through the wood.
I took the wind upon my lips and sang
a song to draw the world again. I gave
myself a land so vast where my voice rang,
and dug a plot for corpses, his new grave.
I caught my leaves back from the selfish sky