Senior Highlight: Frankie Wilkin

I write about being human, about all that comes with it. I write about the love stories and the heartbreak that follows them, about the emotion that people hide under their skin. I write about what I feel in hopes that it will resonate with someone who feels the same. I write about the thunderstorm outside and the people who love to go dancing in it.

I'm inspired by people being human, and I write about the things they do, whether they are good or bad.  My goal with my poetry is to capture the raw essence of living - I aim to find the stars in people's eyes when they talk about what they love and the stories on their skin. I'm inspired by the way the leaves falling in the spring or the winter frost reminds me of somebody I know, and I'm inspired by the feelings that my work ignites in other people.

My writing helps me connect with people - I always tell someone that the best way to get to know me is to read what I've written. Poetry has taught me to be brave - it has taught me to be unapologetically myself in a world aimed to tear young, confident women down. I hope that in turn, it has inspired others to be brave as well.

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I Wrote This Poem For You

My dirt stained hands have dug

my own grave, and

I have always said you can tell the way a person loves

by their hands,

 

who they have kissed and how their

teeth will place on your skin.

My bone fingers are caressed by the scars of killers,

killers of men and women alike, but

 

you never noticed the soil under my nails,

the shaking in my fingertips or

the way they curve around my own body.

If you had looked, you would have seen

 

how I love – My shadow is guilt, my

palms are pain, and the scars that I have

patterning up and down my forearms are

from the wild animals I have tried to tame.

 

I wish you had seen my hands, for I am

domesticated like

clipped claws down to stubs every night so

the scratch marks are reduced to just

 

flesh on flesh,

so talons don't leave blood streaks.

I am not used to the way my fangs slide

in and out of my mouth

 

like a temperamental animal;

Isn't that what I am?

The flesh I once loved has been dissolved into

the apathy of the wolves I once tried to

 

pin down.

Of Love Spells and Clocks

Tonight, we sit, fully clothed, in

your bed that has housed our love

for months.

 

We talk about the future, about

how the clock kicks forward at the

winter solstice and summer solstice,

 

about being trapped in fairy rings,

how you worry about my memory,

ticking it's way down like a bomb,

engraving myself into the back of your

hippocampus like some sort of monster;

 

To love is to be in pain,

 

to purposefully light a fire in your belly and hope it doesn't swallow you whole,

to walk across broken glass and let your lover bandage your bloodied feet,

to dance the line between head and heart,

to salsa with mercy and hope that it isn't over a phone call with your lips stained ruby red, this time:

 

Hope that it doesn't hurt as bad this time,

hope that there won't be withdrawal this time,

hope that he doesn't call you drunk this time,

hope you aren't the one that texts first this time,

hope that you heal quicker,

this time.

 

Love is a game and the lover is the player,

 

I have lived with my heart and tangled with mercy,

I have only hoped that the more i wear myself sewn down on my sleeve,

the less it will hurt.

 

To love is to be in pain.

 

We talk about the future on a saturday night,

about how he wishes my feet were anchors instead of sails,

I tell him that I am a ticking time bomb placed somewhere in his chest with wires locked into

 

his ribs,

 

his veins,

 

his ocean blue heart.

My sky blue soul.

We have always been two halves

of a whole.

 

I tell him it would be easier now,

like a mercy killing;

 

Love is handcuffs,

love is to play with matches and drink gasoline like wine,

love is pain,

love is going down with the ship,

love is staying, and

 

love is having a time bomb with an end date and never even thinking about

how much it will hurt when

 

our existence has ceased to be.

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Of Domestication and Light

The new green of april fills up the places

where winter turned hollow.

Blossoms collect at the corners of sidewalks,

pooling together like unsaid comments,

heartfelt goodbyes -

I sit still like cold coffee as the clocks tick down,

time bombs much like faces, like names,

like letters in the mail now stained.

 

Vines curl around the broken pieces of

my individual ribs, piecing back together

what the ice has undone.

Sunshine licks up my thighs and

kisses my wrists, romanticizes my frostbitten

flesh; I still collect stars from the eyes of

the boys who will not forget my name.

 

And the days where i wish to shed my skin

like a snake do not change, but

three years do a number for recovery.

So now I do not hide insults behind my teeth-

sourness does not collect on my tongue and

poison my mind, for I am no longer afraid

to be what was once taken from me.

I will curse my enemies with boiling blood,

all teeth and claws and armor, I

 

have never been stronger.

"What are you afraid of?" I snarl at

those who mocked me for my meekness,

for my stature, for how my shoulder broke under the world - they do not speak, now,

their lips are sewn shut, now, for

those who leave me dead and gone will

circle back around to find that

I grow with every step, with every breaking of my feet I will grind into the glass,

 

I am no longer afraid.

blossoms kiss my organs and my skin

rages like a snowstorm,

I taste of black coffee and spoken words,

my lips are flowers and my hands are swords.

 

"What are you afraid of?" I ask, as blossoms kiss his palms.

"You know I'm always soft for you."

My Winter Heart

February tricked the crocuses this year;

They poked their violet heads out of the newly thawed ground,

green fronds stretching like fingers and

attempting to embrace the sky.

 

February is a cruel killer with

warm hands, holding in them

a tiny flame of hope

and the birthday of my life giver.

I keep my eyes closed.

 

I only open them to caress that flame.

spring is so close I can brush her hair behind her elfen ears,

kiss her snowdrop lips and

watch her oak eyes.

 

February is full of power.

I am silent in my walk.

I spend my hours in boots as the last days

of winter whittle down to a point --

I hide my arrowheads in my pocket.

 

The wind kisses the top of my head

to remind me that

I am soft. My heart has grown cold

in the hands of the devil, but

under february's frozen earth,

 

there is a kindness that even I have forgotten.