Leelah: A Brief Tribute

Author’s Note: As a cisgender female, I don’t know a lot about the struggles of being trans* in a cisnormative, binary society. But somehow, the story of this teenage girl has hit me, hard. I can’t imagine her pain; I can’t fathom how horrible her world must have been. We must take it upon ourselves, as people, to educate ourselves and others, to be advocates, and to make sure transgender people have a life expectancy on par with that of cisgender people. No one should feel alone like Leelah Alcorn did. “Fix society. Please.”

Art by cherryandsisters on Tumblr

Art by cherryandsisters on Tumblr (click image for link)

She wore dresses and skirts
when no one could see

She had a dream
it was long hair

She couldn’t get away
or so she was told

Her opportunity was over
or so she believed

She is to be buried
in a suit, when

She wanted to wear dresses and skirts

That’s all she wanted


Suicide is difficult for everyone. If you’re trans* and feeling down, get help.


Gray: A Short Story

IMG_20141212_042618The sky is like nothing else. It is gray; it is dark; it sinks low with an impending storm.

The same could be said about the hollow eyes of the boy who sits next to me on the couch. He says very little. Around a warm and freshly empty mug he wraps his chilly, colorless fingers: fingers I have known well. I have known them on my shoulder, on my cheek, embracing my back. They are poised, and posed: so very, very still.

I can hardly see him breathe, and hardly believe him to be alive. Only for those split seconds when his eyelids allow themselves to be heavy, does he regain his color. His eyes were a different flavor of gray, once.

It seems all of him is gray now, from his frosty lips and dry skin, to the pale, distressed hair he attempts to keep hidden. The bags under his eyes hold the only color on his person.

As his gray body concentrates wearily on the world outside, his mind plays with the thin slice of paper that sits in front of him, crinkling it and throwing it away. Words are asleep on that paper, words scrawled with skinny lines in a faint manuscript. They are words that will not wake again for a very long time; the eyes that were meant to read them have closed.

I move closer to him, inches at a time. Although my focus remains outside the window, my cornerstone is next to me, on the couch. He offers no response when my arm, cautious, folds around him, but he lets his head lean into mine when it lands gently on his shoulder. He is so very still, contemplative and drowning in an ocean I cannot know. My empty hand finds his fingers, pulling them away from the cup, which has lent them no warmth. With every candle in my soul, I try to burn through to him.

“I loved you, you know.”

He cries now the way he has always cried: slowly at first, and then like a storm. He is an ashen raincloud, dropping his elixir to tap on my windows, shaking me, bleaching the whole world gray.

Explore: A Poem


My body contains a nebula.

My soul is exploding;

it is a celestial combustion.

The stars in my heart are shooting outward

at a million miles per hour,

electrifying my brain

my fingertips,

my toes.

My voice throws galactic lightning;

my eyes, stellar thunder;

they are supercharged particles of stardust, and not tears,

which fall from my eyes.

I am an astronaut’s painting, blasting omnipotent colors,

crackling with the brilliance of a billion suns.

So hold my hand, touch my hair,

rest your leg against mine so we might share our powers.

For you, too, are a nebula,

a universe,

with a unique light

that we can explore.

For Mark Strand

Author’s Note: Mark Strand, a fantastic poet, died this past Saturday, November 29. He is, and will continue to be, an influence on me and my own style, and I hope to do him justice, not just in this commemorative poem, but in everything I write. RIP.




Flowers hold libraries

of unassuming knowledge.

In heaven’s heart, I hear, there is a garden

with a unique talent for messing with the sun.

Some of the flowers opt to enhance the glitter of golden rays;

others prefer to make the sun look not like the sun at all,

and still others dress it up like the moon.

Each flower’s spirit

is as clear and weary as the spirit of heaven itself

and as broken and tormented as any soul in hell.


Whenever a flower dies, it falls to the ground

with enough thunder to shoot a shudder through all of creation.

It is a thunder potent enough that the other flowers

must bow their heads to weep.



each passing flower inspires libraries more,

so that glowing petals will make it immortal

and the garden in heaven will never stop expanding,

and can joyfully mess with the sun

to its heart’s content.