Killer in Me
I have long wished to kill a version of me,
that haas long been seen as evil, and warped myself to see my reflection as such, too.
Having that labeled pierced into my flesh for the effects of a personality disorder,
understudied and unmedicated when I was only fifteen,
and then forcing myself to wage war on something I cannot control is evil.
But, I am not evil. Evil exists in those that forced my mind to split-
from a sweet and innocent child into something of a war solider,
sent out in times of stress and who reacted like a beaten, angry animal.
Everything became a threat. A book thrown too close in my direction,
or dark promises that realistically held no weight.
What is a caged animal to do, when you fill its home with predators and try to burn its house down from the inside?
I am not evil.
I do not deserve to be euthanized, or ostrichized.
For that, I will kill every person that lives in my mind.
That spits anger, and spins fables where I am a villain.
I will kill everyone I have known, that thought trying to control a teenage girl who just needed to be protected, was okay to do.
Paint it Black (Raven)
I see myself in shades of monochrome,
skin dusted ash and hair singed.
I burn with every lick of heat I have endured and in turn, bottled,
stored in the husk of artistry no one is allowed to take from me.
Every word I speak is poison,
thick with vitriol on my forked tongue that forms stories,
heretics behind an enamel cage.
My song is an epic, deep and dark.
They know the person with pale skin, and kind eyes.
They do not get to know the entity that bleeds dark,
and stains eternal.
They can take my body, and they can mar my heart, but I will always avenge it.
I will ruin them, syllable by bloodied syllable.
I am the soul, after all. You cannot kill that.
A Child, Stolen.
I am sitting among my friends, who are laughing and content.
They call me by my name, but I respond to it half a beat too late.
Because I am not that name- that name belongs to a baby, unmarred by careless hands, and free of the silvery marks a teenager so disconnected placed on herself like a brand.
And now, I cannot in good faith accept that name.
That name is not purposeful hunger pains that come with a twisted satisfaction until sun down.
It is not gorging a stomach with alcohol until I nearly do not wake up, and then filling my lungs with acrid smoke that leaves me choking for air all before the sun is up again.
They call my name each day, and they tell me they love me.
But that love does not belong to me. It belongs to that baby I cry for. That baby I beg for forgiveness from.
Because she is starved like a beaten dog, and I am the imposter- the creature in her grown flesh that hurts her to forget everyone else that has.
But I look to my friends- and they do not know this.
And I smile back, and respond to their calls and pray that the baby with my name and my blood can hear their love, too.
The Great Betrayal of 2018
My grandma makes homemade wine. Its colour is cloudy, and according to several eye-witness accounts, tastes like paint thinner. She has a cup every day with dinner- we joke that It's a vitality potion, being near eighty-eight and still ass bright eyed as ever. But, for the fact it drinks like gin and less than a cabernet, my family does not drink it.
They bring their own bottle to thanksgiving, and this year was no different.
"Did you check the expiration on this?" My mother asks, her face pulled into a grimace and hand to her chest like it might be her undoing.
My aunt grabs for the bottle, confusion pinching her eyebrow. "Wine doesnt have an expiration, I don't think." But checks it over thoroughly anyway.
"It tastes horrible!" Mom exclaims, reaching over to steal my 7-up.
"Hey!" I crow around a mouthful of stuffing and cranberry sauce. "Thats mine!"
"It's not expired," My aunt confirms, completing undermining my betrayal. "Here, Joe, try it." She says, passing it to her husband who pours a finger into his cup.
My brother all but leaps from his chair, his grin shit eating. "Can I try?"
My other brother cuffing his head is the resounding no.
"Woah!" My uncle coughs, slamming the glass down onto the table. "You sure this is wine?" He asks.
The three parents eye each other, and then the bottle, and then their cups in case there might be errant rat poison lining them.
My eldest brother (the do-gooder) pours himself some, holding it above his head and surveying it beneath the light like he was in a labratory, craning his neck in every which way before pulling his gaze back. He blinks, and blinks again. He looks to my grandma who has been suspiciously quiet, usually asking for an interpration of our foolishness in her language, but is now sitting and eating like she doesnt even know were there,
Without preamble, he grabs for her wine. She doesnt bat an eye, which is all the stranger. We all know not to just take her things, if we aren't yearning for a slipper to the face as reward for bad manners.
My brother surveys the two cups under the light, but they don't look quite the same. Maybe it's her cup, thats tinted from living through both wars and the Great Depression. "Colin go grab the bottle." He commands my cousin, who grouses from his turkey dinner but follows the order and goes to the cupboard we all know and fear to unearth the comically sized green bottle.
I look at my mother, who's chugging her second glass of ginger ale and still seems to be holding her breath, though I cant be sure.
My cousin returns, and uncorks the bottle. We collectively wince, half expecting a cloud of arsenic to come billowing out. It doesnt, of course, and we all sigh in relief at that small comfort. However, my brother is having a glass filled, sitting there with his palms flat on the table and face drawn. It's all very dramatic, and I clutch on my other cousins arm beside me in anticipation of the taste test.
He first sips the glass of my mothers, discarded, grimacing and letting out an audible 'blegh.' He doesnt allow himself a moments reprieve as he tosses the second one back.
His eyes widen. We all swatch him, no one daring a breath. my fingers are cutting crescents into my cousin, but she's far too invested to care because then comes the--
"SHE SWAPPED THE BOTTLES!"
My mother gasps- my brother (the rebel) laughs (someone kicks him), I look around in horror because I'm the only other one with a licence in this family, but its only a learners permit so they couldn't have possibly drunk the Great Poison- but then comes my grandmothers giggle, soft at first. She almost seems to be sobbing beneath her hunches posture, but soon she reveals herself, keeling over as sheets of laughter come forth.
"You didn't!" My aunt says, scandalized. "When could she have done that!"
My eldest brother shakes his head, pointing at the little old lady who we always thought to be so sweet, so serious, but has managed to fool us all. "We left the bottle on the table down here with her when we were all upstairs getting the food!" He accuses.
"Don't insult my wine again." Was her only statement on the matter, in my shaky translation, as she takes her cup back and sips it with the kind of smirk only the success of a great heist could bring.
I had never driven before this night.I refused to drive for another three months after the fact, as well.
What a tableau we must have made, a woman screaming in horror as her daughter drives her car down a main road and almost sideswipes multiple side mirrors, with a man placating her as the only voice of reason in this vehicle and a teenage girl- going a firm twelve in a fifty.
Ever since, my mother has kept the wine within her range of sight.
If I try-- if I really try for it, I can feel memories that aren't mine trickle in like water in a sieve. I can picture myself, lined with age and moments lived alongside you. It feels rote; practiced when I tell myself it isn't real. Again, and again, when my hands clasp around empty, cold sheets and I can nearly feel your warm fingers slotted between mine. It's pathetic, and placating to have your own conscious drag you to the shore when you wish to just drift away. I long to slip beneath-- drown in the feeling, in the current of your devotion and torrent of your touches. I want to exist in that big wooden-boned home, with dark oak furniture worn from love, something bathed in warmth that bellies the torment boom boom booming in my chest and crack crack splitting through my bones. I can feel me, ten years older, being cherished by you if I let myself sink.
This table is as much me as I am.
The wood is real-- tacky and solid under my clenching grip. I think I am two today. Maybe younger, it's hard to tell. Mom and dasd call me their baby. Brothers call me little miss. I think I must be in the middle of that age somewhere.
But this table, this table is sure. It's oak, and glossy. My younger-older brother is always fisting at it, tracking the indents with his fingertips. My oldest-older brother doesnt care for it, but I don't know why. I can see in the wood-- right here, you see-- where his fingerprints are. Mom cares for the mess- but my dad tells her were only young once, and we can buy new furniture.
I agree, as I move my hands along the wooden lip for a better grip. My favourite song is playing, and my mom is smiling at me so proudly. I'm not doing anything, really, I'm just bouncing up and down. Brothers call it dancing, and I think I like it even if I don't know what that is.
But this table-- it tells me what to do. It tells me how when my fingerprints match my brothers' that I am moving right. It tells me when I make bigger stains then they could that I'll be an artist.
This table-- I have built cities with play dough, and made messes with my food from bright plastic plates. I have taken adult scissors to my hair and botched it, and grabbed my dog's toy from beneath when she couldn't reach it. This table shares my laughter, tears, firsts and lasts.
This table is as much me as I am.
You Aren’t Welcome
August she loved me. In August, she carefully kissed the marks indented by careless mouths.
In September, she bites into the dents and tears away a part of me before she leaves just so I can watch the blood turn stale as it trails after her-- so I can forever remember the carnage.
It is unbearable, as I watch wide-eyed like a scared child clutching my teddy as someone's callousness infects me. I wait like a beaten dog, for her return.
But September is cold-- and I grow to be the same. Where tufts of hair were ripped away, is shrapnel flesh.
When the summer kissed my skin and I smelt of coconut and harsh perfume, nothing was sweeter.
In September, the air tastes like gunpowder and honey.
It's my shot I fire, when you come limping back under the autumn's chill twisting your joints.
It is my smile-- poisonous and vile. I hope it eats away at you.
Dear Reader, I wish I could tell you that you're going to survive this,
But I cannot. There are two of you, after all, with whom death must confer.
The you that has grown from a dribbling child to the damned adult, and the you that was born of mistreatment and neglect.
You're two equal halves. Who is awarded competency, when you are both undeniably real, and the same form of fucked?
It is like having an ornery twin- they do something awful and you must amend for it, simply because you share the same coat.
You may survive. If you can live with the scratching cat with sharpened claws battering at the door of your consciousness.
Or perhaps the world will take pity, and run you down with a school bus.
Who knows, after all I am just another shade of you.
I stand beneath the glow of a streetlamp, scuffed up from where I had dragged a jagged edge of a rock against it.
Our initials are mossy and grey, but I know they're there. Embedded in my fingertips and bleeding green in my marrow.
The streetlamp winks at me, and I think of you.
One eye is forever half-shut, from scraping your face against pavement as a kid.
I sort of feel like I've been dragged along the hot concrete, too.
My skin is raw in this air-- leftover memories burning my lungs,
everything tender from the press of your nails.
I thought you would kiss crescent-- but you dug in, and tore me apart.
I think I may stand here a little while longer, if you'd like to visit.
One day flowers may sprout where the moss has taken root.
..is the girl
Hope is the girl with a full set of jagged teeth covered in blood. Biting through the rotten flesh for the juicy centre; sweet and saccharine.
Hope holds the cloth out-- for you, not her, as she grins and wipes your tears.
Hope spits out pieces of bridle that kept her bidden, along with the clotting sickness that reminds you of what lines your chest.
You look down, and stare at the gaping hole someone had made with their torrent of hurt; poisonous and the killing kind.
Hope is the girl that holds your beating heart with human hands, and looks at it like it's precious. Because it is. With watery eyes, she looks at you. Like you're precious.
Hope is the girl that protects the most vulnerable part of you.