Y

Super rough. Been a while.

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I check your name against the news

back in our hometown,

still saturated in bruises,

I beg my heart to slow down

slow down, please

 

 

Might find you at the grocery store

when they broadcast our songs

no car on the highway anymore

choking down the playlist, not gone

still take the floor from under me

 

Think of your car in the backyard,

The thin line of fence,

Think of you in footsteps, I always turn,

streets seem safer with strangers now,

like going inside wouldn’t be too late

 

I was warming my hands on your chest, but

now I’m locking my windows and shutting my blinds

staring at the places you used to sit

like you’d be there if I let myself blink

 

you’d buy me drinks to make me weak

erase my body and pretend to sleep

cant reconcile the memories,

cant reconcile you next to me

 

I check your name against the news

back in our hometown

still resting on the edge of a blade

still dreaming that I’ll find you there,

knowing that I’ll find you there.

xxi

Never forgot the feeling that the house was burning down
The feeling of you coming down the stairs
Thought I had close the door to stop your storm
But crosswinds closed in
I didn’t have to let you in

I land hard on your silence
Sitting across the room
deprived of the things you’d give anyone else
but you still punish me like no one else

Thought I had arrived somewhere
with a strength that would be enough
thought I had a lock and swallowed key
but it kept me inside instead of keeping you out

Never forgot the feeling that the walls were caving in
folded on my knees, resist the urge to breathe
keep my back to the ceiling and my heart on the floor
make me so small I am nothing at all

make me so small I am nothing at all.

xxx

I’m your holiday from thinking,
respite from the drinking,
just take a breath and say it,
I know it’s easy for you,
please just say it

no need to feel your pain
if you can hide it in me,
you can pull back, not narrate,
I’ll take your feelings
in absence of words.

I’ll be your reason to go,
not to sit by the fire and smoke,
the catalyst for your storm, but,
you’ll be held to your stories
when I’m heading back home.

61

I’m your little darkling
brighten up just to burn out
you hold me well
never feeling skin

I’ll be you punchline
believe your empty platitudes
you’ll fill me with holes
and I’ll become less of me

I’ll undo it all someday
learn to heed the lighthouse warning
beg the light back into me
gift your dark back from me.






056

How do I always know
greed in your powerplay
always have to set it up
a certain way,
be the last one speaking,
have to light things up
in my face

I keep saying, “this is it,”
I keep saying
I can bury love into a rage
swear I’m done, slip away
I mean it this time,
but you’re a fire in my mind

I don’t trust my own eyes
in and out of love, surprise,
you take up space in me
hold your place in me

can’t take love beyond
the vibration of an eardrum,
silencing kindness, I know,
you remind me
I don’t deserve it

I’m still trying to be okay
when it comes to
unlearning what you say
always said you’d try again
force me to stay

Not sure how to be okay
when love feels this way
Not sure how to say
I still love you anyway.

Stories From Growing Up: like me despite your rage

Someone spilled Coke on the couch cushion. The wicker based, floral cushioned couch in the first rental we lived in. We had been left alone for a while.

I meant to be proactive and I was tired of the chaos of no one watching. I knocked on the door and it didn’t open. I mentioned the couch and went back to my things.

What the fuck.

Some for you,

Some for you,

He grabbed more Coke to pour over our heads, over toys on the floor, over everything.

Words, over and over. The way I started to laugh at first, thinking he was being funny. No.

I sat in the puddle, assessing the mess as he called us names. We damaged things, a tiny spill like the ocean I guess.

The puzzle in the floor was soaked, fraying picture from the wood, by the time he was done.

He said, clean it up.

So I tried to hide my shame and fault. I cleaned eagerly, trying for approval, coke still dripping out of my hair.

052

Seconds in time,
take your scornful kiss
with my body
thinking I’d taste your weakness
slowing down into honey
but your lips charr like forest fires
your jaw locked, feeling fuzzy

seamless from eye to eye
paranoia in your panorama
take your lack interest
with a glass of wine

bad taste in my mouth
pennies to the irony
lean in and make you sick
curl you up in my napkin

seconds in time,
take your scornful kiss
home to my intentions.

 

038

You find a new curvature
shopping for spines
xylophone against my bones
just to try me out

I know, if I could sit up straight
maybe the song would play
and maybe you would stay

but I have slouched through
each and every absence
crumpled to your disregard
contusions from the heartache

you weave nerves into lace
amused by my contortions
I’ll twist to your methods
just to idle in your current.

Stories From Growing Up: If I Could Go Back

“We were just having a conversation about what she would change if she could do this all over again.”

he looked at me in that calculating way, savouring the moment. Like there was a pleasure in delivering something that only served to cause pain. As if he felt there was righteousness in chipping at my self-worth, never letting me build it back up.

I was prepared. He got nothing from me because I knew the answer years before it came out of his mouth. I felt it before he ever put it into words.

“If she could change it…She wouldn’t have had you.”

I am a product of regret. I will never have to explain that feeling again.

Stories from Growing Up: The Worst Possible Thing

One time, when they were finished fighting, I walked out of my room to see him sweeping up broken dishes from the kitchen floor. As if the moment was disappearing because he was cleaning up. As if what happened didn’t permeate the entire house.

The fighting felt like the worst possible thing. Like my heart sinking out of my chest and the world was falling apart. I thought that was the worst thing, but the honeymoon phases always rolled back in. I could do my best to roll with it.

I could not bear being left behind. They had a blowout fight. She collected my siblings, intending to leave. I told her that I didn’t want to go, I was scared, so she left me.

I watched her go up the driveway with everybody but me. I watched her decide that it was more important to make a statement than to love me. I watched her decide that it was okay to leave me behind in a situation that she herself didn’t want to be in.

That was the new worst possible thing. Being the one left behind.