trauma

… I wonder if I will ever find a language to speak of the things that haunt me the most.

Bao Phi, from “Vocabulary,” Thousand Star Hotel


They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

This Be The Verse, Philip Larkin



I don't even think I can talk about it.
I brought my face close to the glass
and imagined myself inside,
sitting at the desk. Looking up
from my work now and again.
Thinking about some other place
and some other time.
The people I had loved then.

I stood there for a minute in the rain.
Considering myself to be the luckiest of men.
Even though a wave of grief passed through me.
Even though I felt violently ashamed
of the injury I'd done back then.
I bashed that beautiful window.
And stepped back in.

Locking Yourself Out, Then Trying to Get Back In'
by Raymond Carver


No matter how obsessed you've been with your own vanishing, there will always be someone who still wants you whole.

They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, Hanif Abdurraqib



once upon a time i decided love was too much like drowning
made myself an island where if i scream out the ocean swallows
entire cities until i see my suffering is small enough to cradle

— poems to carry in your pocket,
Laura Villareal