30 July 2017

Rattle, Rattle

Sleep over
over sleep.
I don't believe
in the devil,
but the devil sure
believes in me.

Pill bottle is a rattle,
lulling and lulling,
and I,
with my
childproof hands
wring each fear carefully.

Sleep is only scary
when it ends,
so the bed swallows me
and doesn't spit me out.

I don't believe
in the devil,
but he believes in me.
Hush, hush,
he repeats.
And my breath slows
and my eyes close.
Rattle, rattle.

19 June 2017

Consider Supporting My Fundraiser

Dear readers,
Thank you for reliably visiting my blog over the years. Your readership means a lot to me. As some of you may know, my health hasn't been the greatest, and as a result, I am asking for your help. I am having trouble paying for my medicine and accumulating medical bills, so my sister and I have made a crowdfunding site to try to help. Please consider donating and/or sharing the link: https://www.youcaring.com/shannonmckeehen-854019.
Thank you so much for sticking around!

12 June 2017

The Good Son

These small colors
wrapped in fur,
genetics along a string--
these are the surprises,
each a magic trick.
These events happen
outside the frame
while we are holding hands
or wringing hands
or catching hands.
These events happen,
and it doesn't matter if
they are accidental or on purpose.
We hope the light is cared for.
We hope that someone out there
will nurture each little thing,
but we don't actually know if that happens.
Hope and reality are different people,
not even siblings or cousins,
kissing or otherwise.
We want it to be good enough,
despite fragility,
because the colors are everlasting.
They are the truth.
Little reds and purples,
little blues and greens,
bundled together in hair and promise,
bundled together
in soft curls and violent starts.
When we are at our best,
we are really something.
When we are at our worst,
we have a lot to answer for.
Can we make a reality
that we can live with
and not just die for?
Let's just say
I hope so.

22 March 2017


Never let me down.
Never let me down.

- Depeche Mode

I just wanted the option,
even if I didn't choose it.
I just wanted
to have all of the cards,
even the ones with
the bent corners.
When you get to be thirty,
she said,
you start running
out of options.
Your body grows spiders
instead of babies.
And lo, my womb
is full of tiny creatures
not human, pulsing and ticking,
giving me nothing,
letting me down.
The body is a temple,
she said,
so treat it with respect.
But there is no respect here.
It is does not reciprocate,
regardless of McDonald's meals
or hummus sandwiches.
It lets me down.
It is full of fire,
wicking up the webs left
by tiny creatures, clinging
to the walls of all
I will ever have.

21 March 2017


One day, I will settle the score,
which isn't a threat
nor a promise,
and it isn't directed at anyone but myself.

12 February 2017


Dry lipstick
fills small cracks
with confidence,
I am a fuckup
in a dark room,
eyes fixed on a mirror
and I swear I am pixels.
I swear I am an image.
I touch my lip
and red pours out,
fills a glass.
I am thirsty, so I drink.
I drink to be real.
Please, hold my glass,
hold me, hold me.

30 January 2017

Cold war

when all I want
is for you
to be proud of me
and I wait
for an answer:
the crackers
in your cold soup.

Coffee gone cold

In this age of second helpings
and second comings, I scour
the edges of a simple map
while you grunt disapproval.
I thought I had it in me,
but instead, I help you
straighten your tie
to reality. I know the map better
than you do, but my legs are numb
and my brain is aflame,
so I don't know what to do.
Your lips flap, your mouth
laps up your coffee,
leaving small crumbs to float.
You are as careless as you are proud.
I stare at one of the crumbs,
a little brown thing lost at sea,
disposable like my loved ones.
I don't know
what you mean or what you want,
but go fuck off anyway.

22 January 2017

Dear Richard

what is your favorite meal
so that I may
poison it?

what is your least-favorite race
so that I may invite
as many as I can

to celebrate?

17 January 2017

Predictable Motions

I want to marry
a girl or a boy
and be as normative
and dehydrated as fuck,
carrying multiple infants
on my back, a soldier muscling
through the terrible terrains
of america, all soft, grey trouble.

Because I am depressed
and familiar, a pretend Sexton
with candy cigarettes,
I will require eighteen hours
in bed, smoothing my greasy bangs
close to my brow
in romantic, predictable motions.

I am a flake and a terror, but I know how to float.

I will teach you
how to swim if you teach me
how to dream.