Listen

Listen

Trigger Warning: domestic violence and sexual abuse.     I want to shout this from the rooftops, But also whisper it so no one looks at me. Listen, Don’t listen. I was taught to lie. Probably all of us are to some extent. What I mean is, I’m not okay. I don’t want to write this Because I don’t want to be judged. I’ve spoken my truth before And been called ‘evil.’ It set me back. But I’m going to say it anyway. It’s the truth. My mom always made excuses for my dad. He was always sick or working too hard, Never passed out drunk or so hungover the house stank Or so depressed he couldn’t look at us Or more worried about his latest obsession, Like a new toy or the liquor hidden in the garage. These were ugly...

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Erasing

Erasing

they said i am a joy. they see me through eyes unknowing and brand new- i am competent, and capable. i used to watch Home Improvement with my father. he said it was funny, so it was. i thought what he thought. i was adorable on demand. i was lots of things on demand for lots of people. i took requests. i watched the fire burn, watched them drive away, watched her die, watched them (the collective him) hurt me all from outside myself. scapegoat, whipping post, ball of rage, on demand. all or nothing. i was failed perfection, clean house and dirty hair, obsessively wiping down the kitchen counters freeing them of the condensation rings from the tiny glasses between every shot. erasing. alcoholic housewife on demand. it took me years to realize i don’t...

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Edges

Edges

It is not a shiny thing, a room full of coffee cups and the shakes and the voices of people telling all the same story just wrapped up a little different. it isn’t easy. they come in and out and you pray to the higher power you created or discovered or whatever to please, please don’t let that be you just for one more day. just today. you white-knuckle that shit at first, though. you’re the one in and out, the one who makes the people with more than a few days remember. really remember how it felt to not know how to feel. and the ones with the time, they thank god it’s not them, and they do what they can, and they hope that you get it before you die. these people, these people with time [that you think must be lying, cause who can go years...

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Twenty Six

Twenty Six

Tomorrow, I am twenty-six.   Usually, I write these, and I focus on the past year: what has happened, and what has changed. But I am changing. I am different, now. And now, I look forward. This year, I will move to England to be with the man I married. I love him more every day. Even from almost four thousand miles away he is there for me. He is kind and gentle and loves me in a way that calms me, in a way that I can curl up with at night, even when I am without him. Soon, we will be together and begin our married life on the same continent. It will be easy and hard in all different ways, and I look forward to learning and growing and even struggling together. Because we will be together, finally, and the challenge of separation has taught me to appreciate that...

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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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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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