how to bleed a ghost

Spread the Fire

the problem with bodies is that they’re just too fragile. even something as bold as a ribcage can be crushed into tiny stars, bones magnified into gritty ash. the problem with matter is we can’t destroy it — a bag of air is the same as a bag of body — everything composed of trembling atoms held fragile between molecular bonds; we break, we react, we combust — but we don’t disappear. the problem with death is you don’t ever really die. instead, your body gets swallowed by the earth: your skin peeled over and over until you are swollen with dirt, decomposing down to the smallest speck of matter. you will then be lifted like a ghost to the sky, the simplest part of you floating back to infinite void. the problem with ghosts is that even they bleed, that even the tiniest part of something empty once belonged to something whole, & so when you bleed a ghost, your hands cutting through the cold heavy air, they will return back to you stained in bruised purple blood, a last reminder that even in that vacant space, there still lives something undeniably human.




Spread the Fire is a Youth Speaks workshop series facilitated by YS Poet Mentor, Hieu Minh Nguyen. The series aims to demystify the publishing side of poetry. In the workshop, poets learn how to refine and prepare their poems for publication. The fire you spit on stage, can also scorch the page. Burning down the borders between page and stage, poets learn how their poems can gain a new life by accessing a readership through publishing. 

ghost x garden x grow

I had to haul my baby sister out of the blood-drenched soil once I was done watering life back into the wet, clumpy post-abortion fetal tissue she used to be. Like all babies, she kicked and screamed.

Becoming Ghost

He says: I want it to smell / like the real thing. // The real thing / is a landscape // of work and death–– / the names of our ancestors // slack in our mouths, / just the art of loving // your family line enough / to reproduce it.