a psalm for the day you leave him

dear god, i ruin every pure thing i touch
i took something young and tender as a peach bud in spring
and made its hands and teeth yearn for flesh
almost kissing, almost killing

i was as white as the pages of my mother’s bible
before he showed up
now i only pray to the satin-clad goddesses on the dance floor
and communion means french kissing under streetlights

being loved is like cupping fresh summer berries in your palm
it’s warm and it tastes sweet but when you hold on too tight, it bursts
and your skin, once so clean, is stained with juice like blood that never washes off

father, forgive me, i should have stayed in heaven
you can love a mortal, but you’ll have to go to hell to keep them
and is it worth it, for one night of peace? well —
i’ll tell you when the sun rises

xo apollo


my top five lip products


basically the only beauty products i use regularly are lip glosses and balms (i currently have 50+ . . . it’s an issue), so i thought i’d share which ones are my favorites.

also, any of these would make great stocking stuffers for christmas! they’re fairly cheap, easy to find, and they’ll be used and appreciated for months. just a suggestion in case any of you are struggling with gift ideas.

LUSH lip scrub (mint julips)

this is the only sugar scrub i’ve used in my life, so i can’t really compare it to anything else, but it’s an amazing product. it’s very minty in flavor and smell, but not too much as to be overpowering. and it barely takes any amount of the scrub to make your lips soft, so it should last for quite awhile. also, it’s made from all natural ingredients, so once you’ve exfoliated your lips you can just lick off the extra sugar. pair this with a good lip balm and your lips will be softer than ever before.

anastasia beverly hills lip gloss (moon jelly)

this is the best lip gloss that i own. it’s clear and super shiny, with bits of purple sparkles in it to make it stand out. also, it smells and tastes like vanilla, which i love. it’s not sticky, the shimmer and color last, and it adds a unique pop to your look.

vaseline lip therapy (rosy lips)

this makes your lips look full and gives them a pink tint, but the color is subtle enough to look natural. the downsides are that it’s sort of heavy and you can definitely feel it on your lips, and it’s hard to get off your fingers after you’ve applied it. but it’s also the most hydrating balm that i own.

softlips (watermelon & vanilla)

softlips is my absolute favorite brand for lip balm. i take one of these with me everywhere. it’s not sticky or greasy, it has SPF 20 in it, and they all smell incredible. you can also get softlips pearl, which has an added pink shimmer to it.

soap & glory sexy mother pucker XL extreme-plump

i think this product is pretty weird, but i’m including it anyway because i have a fascination with it regardless. i’m not exactly sure what it smells like (maybe vanilla?), but it’s good. the lip gloss is supposed to plump your lips using natural oils, and while i haven’t noticed that happening, it does immediately make them buzz and tingle. despite not really plumping your lips, it’s super glossy, easy to apply, and not sticky at all.

i’m always looking for new lip balms/glosses, so tell me in the comments what your favorite products are!

xo apollo

a love letter for the boy with the birdsong laugh

dear scout,

one day, my friend asked me what i looked for in a person. i considered the question and spent a great deal of time trying to figure out what someone would have to be like to make me love them forever. in the end, i simply came up with a list of things that describe you:

– you were kind to me when i so desperately needed it
– you understood my anxiety without me having to say a word
– you calmed me down just by being near
– you were smarter than me, which was new
– you never mentioned when i didn’t eat, but you always had chocolate chip cookies in your backpack for when i needed them
– you knew what my wounds were from and didn’t look at me any differently
– my favorite thing about you was that when you laughed, it sounded like birdsong

i lived with you for only two weeks during the worst summer of my life, but it was enough. i have never shown my heart to someone so quickly. all the afternoons spent wandering through the woods, lying on the sun-warmed brick plaza while watching the stars, sitting on the porch and revealing one puzzle piece of our lives at a time — i will cherish them forever.

i fell in love in the forest. now summer is gone and so are you.

you should know, i kept all the gifts you gave me. the leather bracelet dyed red as blood, the rocket with remnants of fourth of july glitter stuck to the inside, the handmade keychain made of twisted purple, blue, and red plastic strands; and so, so much hope.

skeleton // the front bottoms

when i hear your name, there are two memories that come to mind immediately. there was the night when you took my anxiety from an eight to a five just by sitting next to me and pressing your scraped up leg against my trembling one, and the evening when the grass around us turned slick and crimson with blood in an instant. there was a knife glinting in the twilight before your cursing filled the heavy, humid air.

i never told you, but that night you spent in the hospital after passing out in your own blood, i didn’t sleep at all. i sat on a picnic table in the dark and cried like it was all my fault while the blood dried on my skin and in my mouth and on the concrete at my feet. no matter how long i showered, i could not wash off the blood, or the guilt.

whenever someone put their arm around me or offered a tissue, i just shook harder and choked out a sob about how none of this would have happened if it weren’t for me. we would be sitting by the lake while the sun set; instead, i was so anxious that i threw up my salad, and you were forcing down pills while a doctor slipped a needle through your slit skin.

shut up and dance // walk the moon

tovah and candy gathered me on their cabin’s moss-covered porch after your oldest brother drove you to the hospital. they’d known you for years, they told me, and the boys in your family do dumb things when they’re trying to get a girl’s attention. sometimes that means seeing how many barbecue sandwiches you can eat in one night (your record was eight). other times it means doing a knife trick while walking and cutting your hand in two places. it’s not your fault, they told me. he just likes you, and he’s clumsy, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it.

but, i think. but, if you hadn’t asked me to walk down to the lake with you before everyone else got there, and if i hadn’t agreed, you never would have had your knife out in order to show off. if only i had said no, you would be ok.

i remember how frustrated you were when you got back from the hospital with stitches in your knuckle, glue on the severed tip of your thumb, and a clunky cast on your finger. you were late to breakfast all week because you couldn’t put on your glasses yourself, or lace up your hiking boots. i saw you shake with anger after the twentieth camper asked what you did to your hand.

that’s why i sliced open my palm one morning and soaked my half-eaten apple with blood: so people would leave you alone. they stopped staring at your cast, switching to cradling my hand and running gentle fingers over the bandage.

i still have scars on my palm from that day. if i see you again (and i pray that i will), i know you will have a deep cicatrix on your skin as well. i wonder if you think of me when the phantom pains make it ache.

scout, i know i never loved you. but, listen — i could have. oh god, i could have, and when the seasons change, i hope you come back into my life with the new summer. i left you last july without a kiss or even a goodbye, and when i lie awake at night, i think of what words i could have used to make you understand how i felt about you: the feeling of almost.

i know that i don’t know you that well, but i know i’ve been missing you like hell. (i know // motherfolk)

i wrote this in class when i couldn’t concentrate on anything else. a boy who loves me was reading over my shoulder, and now when my friends laugh, i see him tilt his head and listen for the one who sounds like a bird singing to the sun at dawn.

(unfortunately, scout doesn’t live here. which is a shame, because he flirts by sharing pictures of his cat, mr. kitty.)

xo apollo

sketchbook (9)


i haven’t been drawing very much lately (lack of inspiration + no time), but over thanksgiving break i went back and finished a couple half-done pieces, which i’ll be sharing today. :)

this was based off of pictures i took at the fair last year. i started working on it right after but never finished it.

i didn’t have enough experience drawing people at the time and i didn’t want the girl to ruin it, so i just left her face blank for over a year. i finally felt brave enough to attempt it and i guess she didn’t turn out to awful.

a comic about someone whose lover never arrived.

this really isn’t any good, but i’m done with being embarrassed by my art. i like seeing bad art because it makes me realize that even artists i look up to create crappy things sometimes.

i drew this last school year when i’d just bought an amazing set of pens. i was also experimenting with drawing feet from different angles at the time, i think.

(my friend wrote the “smile” on my page after i’d finished the hand, so it’s not actually supposed to be part of the drawing.) i can draw decent hands up close but when they’re on small people they look all mangled for some reason??

anyway, it’s loosely based on this photo i took of light from a prism on my hand last year.

me // the 1975

i’ve been listening to the 1975 too much recently . . . and yes, the flower people are back. i don’t even draw normal humans anymore. i cannot escape the flowers.

one of my markers ran out in the middle of this and i had a slight breakdown. i was ready to accept that because of my brand new malfunctioning marker, i would never be able to finish it, but i ended up finding a colored pencil that was almost exactly the same color, so i just used that.

most of these are old so i’m not that proud of them anymore (or i never was, i guess), but art is good!! i need more art in my life. create something and make the world a better place with it.

xo apollo

point pleasant, wv travel diary

i had a four day weekend awhile back and managed to convince my mom to drive my friend izzy and i to a tiny town in west virginia called point pleasant. with a population of only 4,000 and a supposedly haunted one-star hotel, you might be wondering why i would willingly sit through a five hour drive to spend just one day there. the answer: mothman.

mothman is a cryptid said to reside around point pleasant. the sightings occurred from 1966-1967, and some people believe that he was involved in the 1967 silver bridge collapse. he’s a pretty neat cryptid, and buzzfeed unsolved has a great episode about him in season four that you should check out if you want to learn more (or read his wikipedia page).

it was a really last minute trip. i think we booked our hotel room in gallipolis, ohio in the morning before we left. we set off sunday afternoon and drove through west virginia as the sunset lit up the autumn mountains.

izzy and i both drew mothman on my chromebook on the drive down. hers was definitely the better one, but unfortunately we didn’t save a picture of it, so have mine instead!

on monday morning, we crossed the ohio river to visit west virginia’s tu-endie-wei state park, a fenced-in four acre plot of land against the water.

the early sunlight on the river, boats, and bridges were honestly spectacular.

izzy and i sat on a bench by the edge of the park and watched barges sail past.

the park also had some monuments and a log cabin called the old mansion house. i’m not sure what’s in there because it was closed, but probably a gift shop or museum.

our next stop in point pleasant was the river walk. about half a mile long, the walls dividing the town from the river are covered in murals depicting scenes between settlers and native americans, and some army-themed ones.

there’s also some graffiti, which you all know i love.

mad anne bailey + izzy making dumb faces

there are also some slightly anatomically incorrect statues along the way, plus several more cute murals scattered around the town.

we found this amphitheater by the river and danced around singing show tunes together.

next was point pleasant’s main attraction: the mothman museum! (admission is $3 for adults and $1 for kids ten and under.)

it’s a one-room museum in the back of a shop, filled with life-sized mothman and men in black figures, newspaper clippings from the first sighting, props from the mothman prophecies movie, etc.

see mothman in the mirror?

there’s also a room decorated like a diner where a documentary on all the strange happenings in point pleasant plays.

attached to the museum is the gift shop, stocked with pins, patches, shirts, books, and more mothman-themed souvenirs.

i bought a mothman sweatshirt and two pins, and i’m sort of in love with them right now. i had an nice conversation with my band director about mothman after i wore my sweatshirt to practice one day. finally, i found another intellectual!

after we’d looked at everything in the museum, izzy and i took pictures with the mothman statue found beside the building. he has amazing abs, honestly. 10/10.

then we wandered around the rest of point pleasant. some notable locations include the village pizza inn, which sells mothman pizzas, the coffee grinder that’s home to the mothman cookie, and a clothing store called m&z boutique that sells mothman leggings.

once we’d seen everything that interested us, we had lunch at two waters, an italian/mexican restaurant (they sell mothman rootbeer!!). it was probably the best unauthentic mexican food i’ve ever had, and the staff joked around with us and were really friendly.

it was a great trip and i’m glad my mom and friend got the opportunity to  learn about such an important part of west virginia’s history, because they were clueless before. if you ever pass by point pleasant, make sure to take the time to visit the mothman museum!

also, happy thanksgiving, i hope everyone has a great day. :)

xo apollo

trigonometry of the heart

oh love, tell me about the way it aches
seeing the sweat glitter on her collarbone, just out of reach
one perfect night when time stood still
and the sunset lit up her hair like stained glass

oh baby, tell me about the flowers unfurling in your chest
when she confessed her sins to you in the dark
all the years spent sobbing in front of altars fell off your shoulders
you asked God for an angel and here she is

oh sweetheart, tell me about the bitter taste of betrayal in your mouth
when you saw her draped over him
did your world fall apart?
did the apocalypse begin when you were writing her love notes?
how did you not notice your one good thing
slipping through your fingers like liquid gold?

oh honey, tell me, did anything hurt more
than when you kissed him while she watched?
three hearts shattering like a robin’s egg knocked out of its nest
sticks and stones, loving and losing
when playing with hearts, there are no winners

wrote this at 3 a.m. one morning when i was very caffeinated from drinking too much tea. it’s not drawn from my own experiences as much as most of my poems are, but there are still some lines that ring painfully true. love triangles are so much fun.

xo apollo