Dear Mom by Academy Monthly

Sorry C doesn’t listen. She just wants attention. 

Tell her to stop – she keeps going. 

Tell her to go – she stops right in her tracks. 

I ask her to stop wearing my clothes, and she hides them in the corner of her closet. 

I ask her to let me do my homework in peace, and she throws a ball against the door. 

Soon enough she will stop. She has to.

I am going off to college in a year and she will have no one to bother. 

That leaves you and Dad to entertain her – or to just keep her out of trouble.


Good Luck.

Roses 52.31.4 by Academy Monthly

The small dots of light sprinkle the dark sheet of sky
And my eyelids fall victim to exhaustion.
My mind is snared
And dragged against its will
Into the same damp, endless rabbit hole.
As I spiral down
Through the thick clouds of smog
I catch glimpses of the cold, mud-caked
Prison-like walls.
Corners of shattered, jagged frames
Break trough the wall’s surface,
Reflecting broken light into my eyes.
The torn photographs
No longer comfortably in their frames,
But floating through the haze,
Contain moments that demand remembrance.
Old, worn out toys and teddy bears
Poke their heads through the dirt,
And glare at me with their forgotten beady eyes,
And follow me as I descend.
Sooty, golden watches hang limply from roots
Not ticking, but laughing at my pleas
To escape this frozen tunnel.
My cheeks sting from the miles of cold, musty air
That sit calmly, disturbed by nothing
Except for my presence.
White roses painted red,
Lie at the bottom,
Ripped from the soil and left to die.
Their thorns threaten me
And the bloody anticipation
Gnaws at my heart.
As I get closer and the details become clearer,
I can see the red paint chipping from the delicate petals,
Your treacherous effort wasted,
And revealing the now stained white.
I wait for the end of the tunnel
To engulf my fragile bones,
But I do not hit the bottom
Until a rooster crows,
And the sun burns my eyes.

Machine by Academy Monthly

I know what it's like
to pass by the library windows
the shiny senior lot car door
the distorted ripples of the Wissahickon
my reflection in surface X, Y, or Z

and look away.

But other times I stare
into the eyes I was born with framed
by lashes I painted
at the hair I cut in the color I've changed
at the sweater I bought to hide
the frame I've spent hours shaping
and sharpening
At this frown formed
by habit,
by nature now.

The internal struggle
I mustn't trust my own thoughts
for they are not my own anymore
Yet they tantrum
They throw themselves against walls
A crescendo of do this, do that, stop, go, hide,
Colliding, crashing, exclamation point

Anxiety attack.