We believe in curses.
The names we’ve been called,
The feeling we were being
Overlooked on the playground
The whispers behind our backs
The quickly muttered greetings
& sideways glances
Hands held between people
But not ours.
We shared our lunch with
No one on a picnic blanket
Meant for two.
Is it the color of our hair
Or the size of our frame
That make them doubt us so?
Or is it that feeling
Deep in the gut
Bubbling underneath the awareness
That’s let them know
Something sinister is lurking?
The dizziness overwhelms
And she finds it hard to take a step
Not ready to let go of the banister to
Stand on her own two feet
The nausea comes next
Sort of like pregnancy
But there’s nothing to look forward to here
Like the smell of a newborn
Cuddled in her arms
Just the loneliness surrounding
And the palpable metallic taste
That comes and goes in her mouth
Reminding her she’s made of flesh and blood
Reminding her what she puts in must
Find release, somehow
The healing will come, with time,
But withdrawal is a different beast altogether
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We stayed on shore
As you floated past us
In your restful bed
The end wasn’t as you expected
You didn’t suffer
And we didn’t cry
But I smiled
To know that things
Would be different now
The leaves changed from pink to
Gold when the lights danced over
Them on the dark water
And my breath caught
In my throat
As your blood swirled with the tide
Salt mixing with life
Preserving it, holding it tight
Until I see you again
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What works for me?
What pushes me to be better?
Who gets to see that part of me?
Apart from all the bull shit.
Apart from the burden I feel
Every time I wake up
The choices I’ve made
Have led me here
Have led me away from you
But in another time &
I would be with you,
Holding your hand
Instead of sitting here
Trapped by what I’ve chosen
What wouldn’t I give up now
To go back and decide again
To make that defining choice, differently
To walk into the sunset with you
Instead of turning back
And choosing familiar
Over the new possible.
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I take care of him
It’s all he asks for
But it’s a mighty request
Shopping, cleaning, laundry
Cooking, working, loving
Caring, caressing, covering
I was alone for most of the weekend – any activities away from the house, and he wasn’t there. I don’t mind leaving him be. I’ve been there – in isolation, not wanting any help, so I understand. Sometimes the only way out is through, but it does get lonely. And I do need help.
And then he grumbles
When I ask him to
Wash the dishes
Like a spoiled child
Of his caste.
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I reach across the sheets to make sure you’re still there. Your nighttime habit of coming to bed late leaves me scared of being forgotten, deep into the night. The shallow breaths of sleep, for me, are interrupted by the worry that something’s wrong, and so I wake and check, continually.
They say it’s part of my OCD. Compulsive checking way into the night, but I know that’s only partly true. Compulsive, yes. Obsessive – perhaps, but not disordered. Not in the least. There is an order to my madness. A yearning to be close to you – to feel the heat rising off your body. So, I lie in bed, night after night, waiting for the hours to tick by until you join me.
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Too much time has passed to save her.
All that’s left is a hollow
Right here in my chest.
I miss her – the fun we used to have –
The realness & fullness between us –
Ripe, like summer fruit.
The juice drips as I take a bite
And taste the flavor – remembering her.
All that’s left is an image of a scared
Girl in a box, trapped – cowering down as
The walls move inward to flatten her
New world. I can’t reach her, try as I might
To lift her out – to tell her (convince her) none
Of it matters – it’s not real. But I can’t get
To her. The walls are too thick – she
Can’t hear me above her own pain.
Fifteen years is a long time to wait to wake up.
The scariest part is I think she may
Still be asleep, not realizing she’s not a
Scared kid anymore &
The four walls of high school are
Never coming back.