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Paintbrush my heart in strokes

by Violet Blackwell

Sometimes I wish my

words, my actions were watercolor. 

If you could drench it— Would the

sheet turn white? No. 

But I’m drenching it’s pastels

with buckets of water— 

I'm begging it to be clean. 

I had so much color 

when I was born: 

I was kind, I loved flowers, 

I used to watch the clouds, 

I used to dance in supermarkets,

Sing in crowded spaces. 

Then around my teenage years,

Like everyone, 

I started drenching it 

In black, some grays, 

I sat alone in my house— 

I’m terribly obsessed with damnation.

(People moved on but I couldn’t)

I tried but it got worse: 

I had visions of ghosts, 

visions of my mom. 

Feelings of despair 

Wept like I was painting 

a crying girl. 

Painting this world something different, 

Don’t we all do that? 

The man down the street 

in terrible callous, 

and nothing more than the pain

of hating our neighbors trees?

Did I have to sit with the women,

mad that the grass isn’t where her

dog can piss? 

It wasn’t long till I professed

in hard liquor and pills 

like candy: 

Hurting my friends with 

each coarse action. 

Finding bloody knuckles, 

and pushing away any hint 

that I deserved something different.

Did I really have to wait, 

Till it was all gone, 

and the sheet was torn and smashed,

like the Bible when my grandma died.

Did I really have to run, 

stop looking for color. 

(Hello my brush) I’m done. 

My brother finally hearing me; 

Then he was gone; 

Another drag of that cigarette 

to help his page. 

Another poem in a song— 

Nothing changes. 

People have an incredible way, 

Within these moments to find 

Others who just keep going. 

They seem to paint their life 

so fucking much— 

Their arms are tired but their smile still there.

To start dipping my brush again, 

and asking: 

Will red, will pink, 

and the sunset be seen over this 

messy canvas? 

Please tell me— 

Painting is difficult. 

But I remember the sunset, 

Falling stars seem 

To try again after every awful day.

(I’m ready to see the night 

As a blank page)

previously published on Dollhouse Magazine


Violet Blackwell is a 24 year old Transgender female (MTF). She sends artworks everyday to be published and enjoys the act of creating. She currently studies music at community college. She likes old vintage literature, and the secret ways LGBTQ+ have always been present throughout history, even back to ancient civilizations. She loves freedom, liberation, and small acts of rebellion against capitalism. She believes in you, and loves you too.


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