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Diary of a Wallflower: The Lyrical Epigraph


Epigraph (noun): a short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme


“There’s a menace in my bed. Can you see its silhouette…?”

                                                            Trouble (Stripped) – Halsey

I’m catching glimpses of your silhouette in trees,

and the air their leaves breathe is hot with your company.

Like fiery, foggy breaths on the back of my neck and

melting into the crease of my lips.

You dance around my shadow

until they blend together as one, slow-dancing

in the dark patches that hide from the sun.


I ask of you to try to mimic your displaced silhouette

with mine—feel me ghosting across the streets you walk,

as a menacing soul of your troubled past, of our

troubled mutual existence. I hope you see me in the trees.

I hope you carry me like the gravel in your boots,

as a constant prod at your (sole). And I hope you are haunted

with the fact that your ghost

comforts the menace in me.

Can you see its silhouette?

                        Can you see my silhouette?


Photo by Alyssa O'Brenski
Photo by Alyssa O’Brenski


Split Second

“We’re the alley cats. And they can throw their stones…”

                                                            Empty Gold – Halsey

There was something about the alley walls behind the bar

that called us home, as though they sheltered future secrets

we did not yet know. That night we discovered its potential,

I thought you would offer me a smoke off your calloused fingers

but you offered to take on the world with me.


For you, it was more than having someone

to brush the dirt off your knees. It was about

having someone behind you to catch the back of your collar

before you ever hit the ground.

When feudal parents became too much, it was someone

to seek refuge with in the timelessness of the bricks. The nights

we spend with our knees pressed to our chests, throwing

rocks at our shoes and kissing between guitar solos

that shred scars in the air behind the wall against our backs.

The place where your rough whispers snake through my ears

with the softest of intentions. The place where the blood

splattered on the concrete is not ours, but we pretend we know

the beaten, because it makes our cold brick house of secrecy a home

to the golden moments of teenage escape.
Photo by


The Release

“Did you know that I can lift a car up all by myself?”

                                                            I Can Lift A Car – Walk The Moon

I left a part of myself at the barricade that night, where

the sounds washed over my skin and absorbed into the

cloth of my dress. It sounds like a careless mistake to say

I left it there. I won’t lose it, I won’t lose it, I won’t lose it,

I won’t lose it… but I promise it was a purposed loss.


We lift our hands to the sky, palms up

to the stage lights and the stars. The combined rawness

of our negative energies mingle in the air above us. I watch

our invisible demons fight one another behind my closed eyelids

until they dissolve into a smoke. My chest presses tightly

to the gate, suddenly numb to anything in the physical world.

Everything but the voices soar into space.

I can lift a car up. I can lift a car up all by myself.

We are committed in this moment to the strength we possess,

to no one but ourselves and the power in our veins.

The cars above our heads dust our palms with rust

that blows away in the wind. I press higher, the tips

of my toes barely touching the ground now, my body

a feathery hover between the smoky remains of my demons

and the clouds that were built for me to stand on.


I finally open my eyes. A thousand other voices scream

the same song as me. A hundred thousand other demons,

who do not and will not know me, dissipate to nothingness.

I remember that I am not alone. That night,

I left a part of who I was at the barricade.

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