poems by Helga Flora


the horror of having a body is overwhelming. I lay myself down in the fairy ring, staring at the sky, pinkish orange with a fat peach of a sun. I don’t want to live if it has to be like this. like a deer under the new moon, I am caught, and killed. I want to be a bike ride in the spring warmth. I want to be a crown of marigolds. I want to be everything I am not: a girl, a boy, nothing. I am a star and you cannot touch me. I want to be touched. touch me. touch me. if I could, I’d become real for you. but I guess you’re stuck with this ghost of a body. being alive is just one way of saying being afraid: life drags on like a knife through your body, the last stretch of a marathon. the sun sets. the sun rises. I have been dead for hundreds of years, and not even God can resurrect me. not even God can touch me. she says I am prettiest in red, but I know it’s only a ruse to get me down on the floor. the catch is: I’m ugly no matter what. the catch is: before I was an animal, I was a child. an ugly child. I eat enough chocolate to get sick. I get sick. I am sick. I don’t want to be sick anymore.


it’s never been beautiful,
it’s just been a fight.

we enter this world covered in filth,
& since then i’ve felt best bleeding.

what i want to learn
is how to want to live.

i am obsessed with the taste of pepsi max.
i am obsessed with how my eyes look

after a good, long cry
or one too many sedatives.

rearrange the word sober
& you’re just one letter away from bored.

i don’t want to romanticize my death,
but god, i’m only beautiful when i’m sick.

i want my girlfriend to tell me they love me
more than anyone else in the world.

more than they’ve ever loved anyone before.
i want them to be what my mom never were.

when they don’t pick up the phone,
i assume they want me to die.

maybe they like me best, too,
when i’m bleeding.

after all, that’s how gods work.
& haven’t i made a god out of them?

i wish someone could touch me
without getting their hands dirty.

i wish i was a better person,
cleaner, & less of a vessel.

this is what i’d like to dream of:
a greenhouse full of potted plants & sunlight,

my girlfriend’s soft fingers
lacing my hair into a braid.

but when i close my eyes at night,
i’m back in the basement.

when i wake up screaming,
i’m still in the basement.


you press love into a pill
something hard to swallow

ready to beg forgiveness,
small and pink, like a locket.

I’m the lion roaring sickly
the wasp which stings you.

There’s nothing pretty about it.
I’m sorry about that.

Wanna be everyone’s dream
girl: starved & fuckable.

before I was the ugly animal,
I had the world in my palm:

cherry lambo, black heart,
getting locked up for safety.

filthy to the touch,
that’s how I wanna be.

call me grime baby.
I get high in the sunlight

so bored of life…zzz
Nothin to do but swallow

Like this look on me
a pretty little mess.

put me in your pocket
let me be safe-kept.

Cried like a goddamn baby
the first time you kissed me

Lemme be everything you want!
creeping into your daydreams

can’t tell right from wrong
there’s just the dizzy grey

I’m a rose watered with mud
groomed without kindness

The Evil Eye is always watching
just like every bad man,

morphing my body into food,
an object of consumerism.

All the flowers are on fire,
such is life for girl children.

We are all full of hunger,
sweet desire for fullness.

Heaven spits me out
like a rotten apple core.


can’t stop writing about Summer.
god’s palm pressed against mine

I am melting like a popsicle
dripping slowly into nothing

but a sugary puddle on the ground.
sticky like coconut sunscreen.

April passed with lethargy
& left me hollowed-out.

I try to change. But I always
end up back as this little pistol.

Eating chocolates late at night
Standing very still soaking light

I remain the thing under the bed
even I don’t want to look for.

helga is the author of MELODRAMA (ghost city press 2018). they want everyone to have a good day every day and have work in places like occulum, peach mag, & vagabond city. they tweet @helgafloros