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To The Ones Who Stood (Before)
I’m not convinced it wasn’t a ghost
that turned her complexion
not the expected shade of pale but
The autopsy says otherwise
but the loved (and the dogged) disagree
Interim, I dwell on the forefigures
watermarking the bloodline
a name that is given, does not belong
Pantheon of functioning alcoholics
Ones whose eyes popped like corks
at the sight of quicksilver
some never made it south for winter
most of them strangers to me
to themselves
I touched the poison
My lips did not turn blue
the ocean gagged on my taste
too little salt in my spine
no ounce of bite in my bones
I know I should be grateful,
I am, but
is it wrong to want to feel
the tease of the madness?
this brew of mine
I’ve concocted from legacy
and limbs
I see the ghost sometimes
in the proper lighting
and the air thickens
and my thoughts hang
:iconharperq:HarperQ 1 1
the things we thought we knew
the moonlight has spun your hair silver
and the hydrangeas burst in laughter
and heavens, if we don’t raise a glass to this
neither beginning nor end
the middle of the middle
surrounded by the salt and the swell
the chardonnay is not fuel enough
to carry us to the edge of the universe
but the things we thought we knew
take us by surprise yet again
:iconharperq:HarperQ 6 2
The soft tones of butterflies and moths
The benches in the whole of the city
losing parts of themselves to weather’s bane
covered in micro-oceans of the letdown
tuned to the afterglow of rush hour
There is nowhere to sit so we stand
under the dripping overhang of a gazebo
in a park inhabited by lost dogs
It’s all I can do to stop you
from side-eyeing escape
I know you’ve ridden higher waves
and lived better moments, for lower stakes
I resolve not to comment on appearance
the red-rimmed scab on your ankle
where your shoes have broken you in
and not the other way around
Every province of your exterior
speaks different
raises an independent flag
in defiance
You talk about your mutinous body
and the revolts you have suffered
what it has taken to broker a ceasefire
and the casualties tallied along the way
Sometimes you break code
voice inflecting
the ghost inside you hacking into
your channels and taking hold
You are learning to be someone new
self-taught and self-made
out of the discarded scraps of clay
:iconharperq:HarperQ 4 5
The Grace of the Hours
the lovers who built you
who broke you
who laid you in a bed of leaves
and made a garden of you
the seeds will not take
germinate in the taiga’s soil
for years to come
but they are there
he tells you he loves you
and gives you back something
you never knew had been taken
and for a moment
you understand the pages
and centuries of prose
insomnia does not run in your
so you cannot fathom
what has kept you up
three nights in a row
made the tree branches tap
harder on your window pane
he won’t believe you
when you insist you
have always
preferred vanilla,
like it is his job
to change your mind
to change the direction
the earth spins
you will revisit that moment
in your mind many times
and once in real life
it will lace everything
that touches your tongue
with the taste of iron
she was like nothing
you ever imagined
and the stardust
floating around her
lit the scene so well
there is a day in spring
unshackled by the impasse
of winter
the cloak o
:iconharperq:HarperQ 6 5
We’re here now, and the sun is up
won’t let us acknowledge
what we came here to
I won’t call it monoculture
or unanimity
all bunched up like Cavendish bananas
we are like-minded people but
we came here for different things
and the whole of it, us, divided
ten thousand feet scraping
with the force of Brillo pads
on pavement used for prostitution
or recreation or for anything
that can build a stairway to better
the sirens and the megaphones
ordering folks to disband, walk away
let this continue to be a myth
a story we do not tell the kiddos
the curtains and the rug pulled
a little ginseng soothes a sore throat
spent shouting at soundproof walls
but a heart aches into sundown
:iconharperq:HarperQ 4 2
memories of color in halls of black and white
we were trying to catch minnows in the waters at Lions Park, while brushing off the heat and boredom of mid-summer. we kicked up a hive of sand as we thrashed about in the shallow end, striped bodies darting, anointing every arm of the compass rose.
i never learned how to swim, but this was a good place to be. here in this oasis, a manmade watering hole carried the same mystique of glossy fashion magazines, of the pretty girls from school who were now oversleeping and accompanying their parents to the grocery store. some of them might have been out on the lake—the sea of the Midwest. i toiled away with thought at how they might have changed once we all came back in September.
you were looking into the distance, for a moment, at something i could not see. a nameless, voiceless existence. i do not think humankind has yet invented or archived a proper noun for what you saw.  
we each walked away with two captive companions. the sun was honey-dipped and egg-washed as we headed h
:iconharperq:HarperQ 3 6
she breathes, and thinks a firefly
flitters inside her right ventricle
if her heart were a jam jar
left upon a windowsill at half-eve
a jewel, become, to the escapades
of the children in meadows
and yesterfools looking on in silence
she thinks herself into the jar
thoughts cuffed in the airlock
that do not sing of genie lamps
but know of faeries from far-off
an ether of sighs makes its name
upon the glass
:iconharperq:HarperQ 1 0
Your eyelids and your kneecaps
veils to your inward Spring
went without applause
at the podium
Saved for days deep in mist
under the covers, under care
the rain pouring outside
your waterfall hair
pouring over us
:iconharperq:HarperQ 0 1
Semicolons, After Summer
Sometime after the last fireworks of summer,
I took to semicolons for putting out flames.
A part of me; they’ve no ownership.
I let thoughts exist on the other side of a fence,
where I’d never have to know the greenness
or the number of lawn chairs needed to put them to rest.
I let them float between life and death, leashed to a respirator.
So I would never have to know what it means to be walked out on.
In this netherspace, they do not consume me.
And my lungs beat their wings to draw breath.
:iconharperq:HarperQ 2 3
Nothing tickles the doormat of life
more than the boxes of elbow macaroni
well-stocked in the kitchen cabinet
on the uppermost tier, nigh on
puppets of olden aristocracy
(Records say you descend from noble blood,
ages removed, do they not?)
I stretch and strain to reach
I’m more partial to bow-tie pasta
but this really has nothing to do with
This is a message
from the seamstress of the stars,
a cosmic face, revealing itself
when I see you reach for the vessel
and bring the cadets back down to earth
:iconharperq:HarperQ 0 2
I am the soft-shell crab you’ve managed to crack and let limelight
spill on doll-size organs. In ways unmentioned at night’s door, I
was cracked long before. The admission blisters for two moons,
but then it glides, buttermilk, massaging an empty esophagus.
You could recite to me the last words of a death row inmate, and
I would be moved, as no other has. Sunday welcomes in the blues
through the open window. Your hand takes refuge in mine, and
we reach for something brighter than the bullseye. Our fingers
yank the threads that weave the blanket, at rest, in our lap. We
come undone.
:iconharperq:HarperQ 0 8
Al fin, no matter-
Elmer Fudd and Elmer's glue
brings us together
:iconharperq:HarperQ 0 2
The broken-winged expression
on your exterior says a mouthful
escapes the sliver between lips
of a half-cracked smile
You’re trying to preserve tact
I can tell
And it layers a film around us
You bear the same scar
shaped like a snowshoe
where ancestors roamed
an avalanche unto your creation
The memory doesn’t percolate
have the rose-gold shimmer
in the way that it should
Cluster of unpopped kernels
at the bottom of a kettle
I guess I picked the dud
I fix my gaze on the daisies
storefront, newly bloomed
hoping the owner turns a profit
of their good intentions
You wear the same face
candlewaxed in my childhood
I cannot produce a tear, dignity
keeps my ribs from cracking
I shift my weight to the side
(tugged by an invisible cord)
Sorry, I must be mistaken
and let you walk by
:iconharperq:HarperQ 3 8
You have a twig in your hair. And it might be of service to say something, but it’s not spinach nesting between your teeth, and we aren’t in a restaurant in New York. So, I mark it ‘Off Limits’ and file it away with the taxes. It blends well with the rest of you, an inelegant but stunning wildness brought forth from the flow of primordial earth.
And as we come down from the mountain, it is almost as if we are leafing through the peaks and valleys of our own constituency. A stop-motion film at a drive-in, projected on to the skyline as we trek. Not to quarrel over the cumbersome, the spoiled tuna fish sandwiches forgotten on the kitchen counter. Or to filibuster a Friday disagreement. This is to remember. Because I would choose you now, as I did then. I choose this. Everyday. There are no end credits yet.
When we get home, you slink off to the shower. I am half-asleep when you emerge, the lyrical murmur of your laughter easing the shadows. You set the twig on the
:iconharperq:HarperQ 6 10
the words crumble
like soda crackers
before she can inquire
her mouth goes dry
spearmint tic-tacs
forgotten in the
glove compartment
of her beat-up
two-wheel drive
she is somebody’s
and a good one
for keeping time
her wristwatch
seconds the motion
and she sits
with the others
in a straight line
mauve is tragic
she muses
looking down
at the chair
she wants to voice
this revelation
to the woman
seated beside her
a smile can show
too many teeth
this slab of truth
holds gristle
around the waist
the stranger stands
coaxed by her name
and she waits for
the sound of her own
:iconharperq:HarperQ 3 2
The Social Life
Every one of us on our best behavior
sit up straight with ballerina posture
like we were made to sip tea slowly
The world needs to know
you’re someone worth watching
Scoff and sneer all you please
When you don’t RSVP
you are still there
in spirit
Part of the fine-laced tumor
in the wiring of our brains
and our mechanisms
The feelers of a centipede
creeping in, unconscious
An open gallery of wonders
and of filth
for the public forum to toy
with over a keyboard
We are not so far past
the gallows and the guillotine
when we set ourselves up
for every fall
and we feel like we were
made for this
:iconharperq:HarperQ 4 4


One girl's universe by mannequin-atelier One girl's universe :iconmannequin-atelier:mannequin-atelier 476 24 Celebrate Pride LGBTQ - Long Distance by LightningTheArtist Celebrate Pride LGBTQ - Long Distance :iconlightningtheartist:LightningTheArtist 53 6
Clandestine Inhabitants
the house next door
has been taken by the bank
and well-prior to that, by divorce
then addiction
and in parallel to it all
by the possum family, that emerged nightly
from the collapsed corner of a workshop roof
crumbling invisibly behind its garage
unnoticed, they scratched an ascent
up beams, plywood and scaled the tree bridge
into an overhead continent of night,
collections of june moonlight
unfolded an expansion of our histories
into ceilings of flowering wonder
and these histories contracted, equally unnoticed
in the shadow of that same sky's ability
to oscilate its waveform and ratio
of positive to negative space,
where entire dream seasons
form one atmosphere, an organism whose shadow
can smile a mild summer-smooth lull
into the twitch and quickened blood of its prey
can smile its slick and shards of december
into a misjudged climbhold above
and jagged frostline of jaws below,
poised to catch the young
that fall from our backs
we are all lost to how the sun and moon
cross the sky
:iconblackbowfin:BlackBowfin 14 18
the lion's tooth grave of prague
The sidewalk is dyed green again
with dandelion blood:
white wispy limbs litter the cobblestone
alongside the scars of bony stems.
I am not a witness,
only a passerby. I stand
in awe but not in sorrow
of the departed dandelions,
their souls crushed under street mower hell.
I pull a survivor from the grass
and breathe to strip it of its flesh
so that its wish is granted:
to not be left alone.
:iconkoahara:Koahara 15 7
Hands are Bound
our present already composts
in loose topsoil,
its grip shallow
on a mound of pasts
our ruin once occupied
before it occupied us
we replant its failures
like we can outwait Time, can avoid
the quiet alone of regret
that displaces our contents
once Space senses
the slightest break in our seal
as if we've earned a grander tour
beyond the upright crypts
we've built of our lives
and a brighter miracle could spring
from the dead seedbank
our dull spark embodies
we ignore the humble minutes
of our own continuum
captivated by the anonymity of eons,
our mark on them, less visible
atrocities reframed
as segues between them, not the norm
our distant history, warehoused
in layer upon rotting layer,
the same failed states
of matter, spirit and being
we've ever and always been
and while Space knows better than i
the end we deserve,
its hands are bound like mine
one at your heart
from the end of an arm trapped
tunneled below your neck,
the other slung lower
spread resting its hope
on our next strugg
:iconblackbowfin:BlackBowfin 10 13
mondo (Weidenlied)
Why do we chase gold
which is as fleeting as leaves
on the ginkgo tree?
Morning dew settles
on spring’s leaves. Come noon, the birds
sing of the great sea.
:iconarthisa:Arthisa 2 4
Commission: Megara by dimary Commission: Megara :icondimary:dimary 504 69 Caitlin_0002 by br53199 Caitlin_0002 :iconbr53199:br53199 81 3 love by MartaSyrko love :iconmartasyrko:MartaSyrko 294 15 Sylvanas Windrunner by Enshanlee Sylvanas Windrunner :iconenshanlee:Enshanlee 2,200 68 Catwoman with cats by Kamiko-Zero Catwoman with cats :iconkamiko-zero:Kamiko-Zero 877 59 major event by aerroscape major event :iconaerroscape:aerroscape 2,661 108
xx. each word weak with unbelonging
                                                              girl slices her skin
                                                                                             in the parking lot: girl becomes
a story           
:iconpeaseblossoms:peaseblossoms 18 8
von verwurzelten Gewohnheiten by Woman-of-DarkDesires von verwurzelten Gewohnheiten :iconwoman-of-darkdesires:Woman-of-DarkDesires 67 20 Nat by delky Nat :icondelky:delky 633 77


HarperQ's Profile Picture
I write mainly poetry and short stories. After stepping away from it for a couple of years, I am trying to work on writing more consistently these days. Mostly as an outlet for myself but also to improve my overall ability.



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Carmalain7 Featured By Owner May 13, 2017
Good afternoon,

just wanted to take a moment to say that with all the talented writers here on dA and all the brilliant works, truly appreciate you taking a moment, good miss, to read mine in A Ghostwritten Letter to My Lost Twin Brother.

means much and more, Harper, thank you. :thanks:
zippip Featured By Owner May 11, 2017
Thank you for the fave!
oviedomedina Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2017
Thank you for the favorite!
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