I know these games.
One day you’re grazing in the green, lounging and
showing off your white fur to the world.
The sun will smile down on you and you will
draw tears from the cloud’s eyes.
The rain won’t even phase you.
The next time I see you, you’re whining about
how the grass is shit-stained and you’re
just eating the remains of a dying planet.
You curse the sun for being too bright and I
begin to understand. I begin to squint.
Sometimes, I try to reach out and hug you,
call you on my way home, silently smoking so
that I won’t break your heart. I call and ask if I
can grab you a coffee, and you shrug me off -
say dad has gotten you one already and then you
rush me off the phone, as if my voice is wasting time.
I wince and slam the phone down. It’s cool, I have
my cigarettes for a reason. I still smoke for a reason.
Then when the full moon is fading into the black sky,
I decide you’re just a demon in my life, I am just
some spawn of a hellish devil and I feel so much pressure
in my chest that I’m surely going to explode.
I feel the red pulsing to my heart, feel the red beating
against my ribs. I can hear the rage in my ears. I can
feel my fists clench for things I cannot control, like
the fear your footsteps in the hallway evokes in me.
I turn down my television. Stop breathing. Begging
with my body to stop fidgeting. I think you pass by,
thinking waking me up isn’t worth it, and then your
angry knock jolts me from my bed.
If I don’t get to the door in time, you might break in.
I think what makes me the most angry is that
you take my daddy away from me. I was never the
girl to play with dolls but I did cry into my stuffed
rabbit pretty often. Every time you raised your hand
and pursed your lips and
every time my father looked me in the eye and said,
“Well… If you didn’t have such an attitude…”
You made him think I deserved it. And even now
you put him in a position where it’s you or me,
and he would be an idiot to pick me. I even
You morphed from a mother that rubbed my head til
I fell asleep to master manipulator who ripped my father
from my arms. I feel like I should have some
Oedipus complex. I feel like I’m some sort of competition.
Do you know how many suicide notes I’ve
written to you?
Do you know how many things I blame you for?
Every failed relationship.
Every wasted day rotting in my bed.
Every time I thought I wasn’t fucking good enough.
You can’t look into the mirror without
shattering it with your devastated hands.
You see bags, black-stained eyelids from long-
nights and disparity. You look at me and
see the glazed-over look of someone who wants
to escape, see the pain of a girl that can’t get out
of her skin. I tear myself open, I rip my skin to shreds so
that I can see that I’m human, that I’m made of muscle
and not just some impalpable essence.
I rip my skin to shreds to justify any lingering emotion
that attaches to my skull.
I never really thought I had a mother.
I thought I had a friend, a piece-of-shit sister
that typed away on her cell phone at dinner
and family gatherings, one that wore
a whore’s clothes, showing off nipple ring rebellion
and the fact that you came to my school to give me
tampons in that fucking shirt mortified me.
The fact that someone in the lunchroom whistled…
I thought that dad was just your caregiver
(which he kind of is… honestly.) and that we were on
the same level because you act like
a tantrum-throwing eight year old that didn’t
get their fucking piece of candy.
I want to show you all the things you’re lacking
but you think you own the world. You think you
You’re not the fucking Iraquis. You don’t own
your family. You don’t own my body and my right to
wear or FUCK the men I do. You don’t own my money
or how I decide to drive three hours away for some
semblance of “home”
Divorced or widowed. That phrase really made me think.
I prayed to God that my dad would divorce you.
I sat on the stairs and never once thought you
were good enough for the hero that was my father.
He looked at me with such fucking happy eyes once.
Now all I see is pain. I think you’re a succubus,
that you climbed through his window one day
and you were ethereal like I wish I was. I think
your red hair and stupid blue eyes seduced him,
I think you suck the life out of him.
I think you age him more than he should be aging.
My father is an old man because of you.
My lover would call me immature for all of this,
but maybe it’s just something I can’t shake anymore.
The way you rage in fits across the house, little screams
that just terrify me, little screams that sound like the
demon inside you is clawing up your esophagus.
I get scared sometimes that I’ll get to meet the little bastard.
I also get scared that there’s nothing there, in your belly.
That it’s just you. That it could be me.
I get scared that your torment just makes you that blind.
I ache at night for all the horrors in the world. I
take on the persona of other people and feel the
clenching of their stomach as they find loved ones in
bathroom tubs, not breathing any-more.
I feel the blast of a gun, wonder what it’s like to just
I ache for all the people that are hungry, that
can’t live one second longer because I have been
to that last place. I’ve been to the point where
the world was too much on my chest
like I couldn’t breathe
like your horrors were suffocating me
making it impossible to breathe
because it’s all my fault
you see all the pain you’ve ever suffered in my eyes
and you want to rip them from my skull so that
you never have to look at them again.
I get scared that you’re not my mother anymore.
That you’re just some being.
Someone who’s not there anymore.
I wish I could pretend you were ever there to begin with.