Hailey Magee

Boston | MA

before then, then, and now

before then

i’ve grown in all the ugly places.
sidewalk weeds and deserts
under watchful, vicious, loving eyes

ugly-hearted demigod
his yellow, calloused, greedy hands
his frantic, tired, cruel hands
his pitiful, barren wasteland eyes
his decimating smile

deliberate hurt
deliberate manipulation
a storm of angry, whirling contradictions

undeserved, untruthful safety:
brutal, empty affirmation: 
i am ravenous.
binge on him with ugly desperation
crafted in the shadow of a pitted heart

everything that was, wasn’t there.
every piece of complex, rich memory
pierced utterly by love’s absence
the emptiness of single lived experienced: that’s where real nakedness lives.
true dominance: exiling someone to a lived experience, “shared,”
but utterly, unforgivably separate

who have I been?
romanced by the sweeping sudden streaks of white sky against black space
captured by the delightful agony of stormy seas and potency
kept willingly in the belly of the world
kept willingly in the stomach of the night
desperate and longing in the everlasting stretch of agonizing time between the stars
seduced by absence, longing
the sharp intoxicating edge of sacrifice and guilt
devoured by the beauty of acquiescence,
exhausting presence,
deep, certain, absent selfness.


every angry impulse
every flare
where is my story
why is my truth veiled by maudlin, dried half-memories

brutal, howling cravings masked
with the sharp tongues of liquor
i scamper eagerly beneath the feet
of rolling, thoughtless freight trains
of rolling, frightful thought trains
i split open at half-broken places

silent unknown
screaming unknown
fearful passages of endless time

yellow, muttering skies and tired, yielding grass
the sky a faultless, guiltless blue,
it knows no opposites.
gilded stars and tired streets
creeping, guilty unsettledness
potent anywhere-but-here-ness
frightful forward motion and
endless scheming phone calls
endless, endless scheming phone calls

such beauty in the delusions i create for myself
ten miles high on nothing but air and
sad, heavy tomorrows
tugging at the divides of the days
ripping pieces of pain
casting them into the atmosphere
relentless fury and fear, fear


the world has come alive again
our host of gracious suffering
peaceful, calm revolutions
broken monotony
painful, jolting attempts at normalcy
vast, sweeping mornings
and warm, dark, plummeting night skies
dancing circles around a whispering planet
mute in the chasm of space

Mother Ocean, Mother Love,
i want half light,
a spoiled, gleeful, guiltless blue sky
i want deep ocean tears
bold and crushing at the corners of my open eyes
i want certainty and searing catharsis
rich, deep sprawling loving roots
splitting, screaming sunrises and
running feet
i want still kitchen mornings and steaming coffee cups
no ulterior motive, no silent meaning
i want a story I wrote myself