Eileen

Eileen

An open letter to my husband’s mother, who was taken from us too soon. Eileen, You’ve never met me. My name is cici, And I’m marrying your son. I want to say thank you. You created My perfect person, My other half, My missing piece. It’s because of you That he exists And that he is the man I know and love. I see your kindness in him, Your gentleness, And giving nature. I picture you Only with the big smile I’ve seen in your photos. We are far away, But I feel close to you. I want you to know The reverence I feel For you and your family. I’ve never been so accepted And treated so wonderfully In all my life. Relationships are complicated But ours is quite simple, really. I am beyond grateful For your impact In all of our lives...

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Existential Global Positioning

Existential Global Positioning

I smell like the store I bought this shirt from. It reeks of Instant gratification. I want a cigarette But my coffee cup is empty And anyway It’s cold out there. I stare at the people outside And pretend their nicotine Is for me. I found the historic part of this town: My GPS directed me, Via satellite, Back in time. Original flooring Holds up the humans In plaid flannel shirts, [Me included,] And original brickwork And fairy lights And stone steps And tattoos. I am obsessed by time And juxtaposition And where I fit. Cities are too big, Skies void of stars, And one horse towns Far too small. I am The wrong size For both. My ideas Are too large for my brain And too ahead Of my current location. I can cross A hundred time zones In buses, planes, and cars, But...

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Six

Six

It makes it impossible to forget- That one day You have to address it. There is no positive spin. It’s making an effort- Wearing her dress And her emeralds And washing your hair In the middle of the week [Although you never do that.] It’s people who know Saying they’re thinking of you And facebook posts And memories And old photographs And maybe tiramisu. And probably tears. It’s the day The world ended But also Kept turning, Which is still baffling. The sun stayed put And the earth kept spinning But you can remember The day it stood still. But also it’s every day. It’s every day I see her picture, Wear her ring- Especially the days I never say her name. Melissa Is her name. Mommah. I miss you. It’s been six...

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Twenty Five

Twenty Five

A year ago today, I published a poem along with text messages from my father, outing him as an abuser and an alcoholic who refuses to take responsibility for his actions. I was always there for him and remain unappreciated. I have forgiven him for what he has done to me. What I cannot forgive is what he said about my mother. And I learned from him, and took a step forward, and haven’t spoken to him since. Read “Father Dearest” here. I’ve spent a lot of time in the rooms of AA. Try as I might I couldn’t get my head around a higher power, and around having to give up drinking for the rest of my life at the age of twenty-three. I viewed it as an ending and as a compromise of my ideals. I first entered AA in January of 2014. I went to meetings, went to...

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Pictures

Pictures

The following is just a quick little poem dedicated to my partner, Si. I am reaping the benefits of his secret photography during our time apart.   He likes to take pictures. He has one of those Fancy cameras With the lenses You can take on and off. He takes pictures When people aren’t looking All people, Strangers and friends alike. Rarely, they catch him, And he looks away. I take pictures Of him taking pictures All of it, In secret. I show him later Or not at all, Keeping the memories for myself, Like the faces he makes When he thinks no one’s watching. He takes pictures Of me, sometimes, When I ask him to, Like when we travel. I used to hide from the lens But now I try to see myself Through his eyes. He makes albums Of his pictures, His people-watching...

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Linear

Linear

Healing Is not linear. People seem to forget that. It’s so easy to believe the bad- To make a snap judgement When someone in recovery, Or you, yourself, Falls off, picks up, Or makes a bad decision. Sobriety Does not promise An easy life Or immediate, Significant, Changes. It does not mean That you’re healed Or that this journey Will ever have an end. A recovering addict Will be in recovery Until they die. It requires work And vigilance But also love And forgiveness And acceptance. It means loving yourself More than your illness. Addiction is a sickness, Substance abuse the symptom. There are many steps, Many interior factors, That go into picking up Your drug of choice. There are mental patterns To be changed And broken And rebuilt, differently. How do you fight...

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Mister Nice Guy

Mister Nice Guy

I shouldn’t be scared. It’s the middle of the day; I’m surrounded by people. But there’s two men On this train That make my hair stand on end And the thing is, You just can’t really trust people. You just never know. Man number one Is stood to my left on the platform, As I absentmindedly sway To Frank Sinatra’s voice In my headphones. I keep catching his gaze Out of the corner of my eye. My peripheral vision is 20/20. He’s close enough That I can smell him- Stale cologne and booze And fear. No wait, That last one is me. I look straight ahead Because this is the type of man I am used to. This stranger With his extra-large eyes And overstated sneer, His nearly imperceptible nod Is familiar to me. I know him; I’ve met dozens of his comrades. But now there’s another....

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