by Nikki Dee

a glass bottle shatters across the snow
two teenage girls laugh like the world is ending

an alley and a kiss
a new red sweater

escaping the city on the bus
to sit on your porch in the sunshine

you couldn’t wash the poison off your hands
I was breathing too fast

chanting unfamiliar words
incense smoke filing the air

comic book stands
and the empire state building
a picture-perfect moment

driving away as far as I dared
writing something about how pressure turned coal into diamonds
even back then, I wrote to keep myself from being crushed

fragments of tiny moments returning again and again


by Nikki Dee

impossible closeness
always barely a breath away

from crowds with honey on their breath,
and flowers in their hair.

the river in their voices,
and moonlight in their eyes.

I am pulled quickly towards their spirits
like a magnet is rooted somewhere deep within my chest

but when I reach out to touch them
with a frozen tongue, fingers trembling

my fingers slip through,
like I’m made of
nothing at all.

by Nikki Dee

It’s like I told you:
life’s not fair, is it?
How can you smile with your lips closed,
your eyes hazy
Whiskey breath
So sure of yourself
That you kiss everyone in the room.

Do you even know that the hand you’re holding is mine?


by Nikki Dee

dark streets

a box of wine

my arms around these two strangers like I’ll never let go

we’re more daring here.

we scale fences and giggle in the dark.


by Nikki Dee

the olive-oil, sun-drenched color of my skin
the bones in my face
the thick, black waves of my hair
the gap in my teeth
the shape of my hips
These are the things I tried to hide.
These are the things my ancestors gave me -
the only parts of themselves they could pass on,
locked into my DNA.
And as hard as I tried to give it away,
no one can take it from me.

   - exotic

by Nikki Dee

I said I was going to break the cycle.
but before I knew it, I was
mowing you over
All on my own.


by Nikki Dee

Her energy casts a perfect glow around the shadows of the dark room.
She draws people into her circle, and when they look up,
they find that they are connected to each other,
to what is above, and what is below,
and to the spirits of all of the women they were before.



by Nikki Dee

This unspoken caste system that decides who feels
comfortable walking home along at night.
Who feels safe in any space, who feels safe
surrounded by strangers, whose words
are the ones taken for granted, taken as fact.
Whose comfort is accepted and necessary,
whose leadership is welcome and expected and heeded.

Don’t you dare point your gnarled, swollen fingers at nature,
Don’t you dare lean on nature as your excuse,
as to why your gender is worthy.
Mother Nature is a woman,
(and she has had enough of your shit).


by Nikki Dee

My tires are low,
they sag and drag and grind
across the ground.
Remakes of old classics flood the radio,
tinny and high-pitched
shards of glass in my ears.

by Nikki Dee

Blindfolded in the basement.
Heartbroken in Barcelona.
Drunk on the museum rooftop.

Worshipped by the devil.
Goddess in a bookstore.
Naked in the moonlight.

Shark in the water.
Protection from a stranger.
Weeping in the crowd.

Carved into the Colosseum.
Wash your hands with roses.
Wishes in the wind.

        Two Truths and a Lie


by Nikki Dee

1. When will you feel grounded enough to leap?
2. Are you waiting for permission?

by Nikki Dee

When he throws a glass at your head,
and it shatters against the wall,
You offer to cut your wrists
with the broken pieces.

      the cycle of abuse

by Nikki Dee

Putting two fingers to my chest, pushing hard into the skin between my ribs

To feel my heart beating
To assure myself that I’m alive

        panic attack

by Nikki Dee

Because of who I am,
because of where I’m from,
My life is a balancing act
in motion.

a dance

The same two feet,
the same four steps,
move me through
my entire life.

    New York


by Nikki Dee

On rainy days,
I feel like my soul is diminishing.
I feel like I’m slowly disappearing
into the crack in the wall.
Fading between worlds.
Wilting into the dust.
When someone speaks to me,
I am only half-listening.

On sunny days,
I feel like my soul is on fire.
I feel like I’m circling the planet, so quickly
that I become just a blur.
Vibrating three feet off the ground.
Growing vines up into the sky.
When someone speaks to me,
they are the most fascinating person on earth.

On cloudy days,
I go outside
I look up
I push my palms into the dirt.
I shake my head.
I wait.

by Nikki Dee

I cling to this feeling like oxygen itself,
like it’s the cure to every sickness.

In this state, I feel the most like myself -
shining, magnetic, bursting
with the glow of the sun,
The mystery of the moon,
The twinkling of every star.

I wish I could keep this feeling forever,
but before I know it, it’s slipping through
my fingers,
fading away,
leaving me in the dust.

       - manic