Rugs snapped and flapped
Like apartment’s jaws
LA bog weighing eye bags down.
Mom jokes they’re designer.
Clean and free in Tennessee
My dress balloons like a tent- Happy to leave city
To pay the rent.
We share a home now
In Orlando, FL- trampoline for dreams
Grandparents’ raise their standards…
Even dull silver seems to gleam.
I’ve discovered I have a built-in best friend-
A twin sister
Who looks nothing like me.
She fights and I fight back tears
Yet she pumps, and I simply bleed.
The walls of our new home
Are no longer yellow- a ghastly
Shade marking tirades of previous owners.
Their child died in our new kitchen.
The family before them had a kid crushed by a tree.
My mother prays.
My mother never prays
And I forget my father’s face
Counting the days since he walked out
Devout only in infliction
I frame his picture.
Memorializing an idea.
Grandma takes good care of us
And we decide to buy her shoes.
Walking in the store with two fake legs…
Surprised we didn’t make the news.
My dog died.
So did my sister’s eyes.
Divorce was inevitable
A country-sized gap
Between their hearts
The maws of a lion couldn’t even start to chew
The bloodied remnants of vows
Or bitter “I love you’s”.
This is my year.
Our playground is creaking.
The wood has splinters.
I didn’t recognize the smell.
Florida doesn’t have winters.
I meet my soon-to-be stepdad
And assign him a new name.
Let’s just say
My emergency contact for school changed.
I’m a teenager
And everything implodes…
Pink ribbons choke the sorry’s from my throat
And a thousand IV bags pop at once, streaming like tears
Weeping for all those years
I thought love was free
And death a friend to those in need.
Her hair clogged the drain.
Things didn’t get worse.
I’d like to say my dad came around
But all he did was slink
To drink and fry his brain
With homemade pain that wreaks of
Oh my dad was just the punch line
To all these horrible jokes.
My friends tell me I should eat.
That food, my body needs.
They stare at my bones.
I contemplate heart break,
Sitting alone at home with no one.
The shadows play tricks on me, and I think they’re
Playing games- testing which one will be caught
And which ones will remain.
I realized it’s better to hear,
To see, and be,
Than it is to not know
What it’s like to cry,