Monday, January 31, 2011


So I know a poem needs to be edited when I become fixated on it. I was fixated on this one for days. I fixed it. And now I'm updating this post to erase the old, crappy version. Hopefully now I can put these words to rest.


Breathe in.
After 5 hours of staring
the blank page she once saw as
unmapped potential becomes part of her
hollow emptiness. The
jagged breathing from the
screaming curses of her heart
keeps time with the blinking cursor
but the words don’t come.
Breathe out.
His words settled like iron snowflakes on her tongue
charmed their way into her mouth like love letters
dropped like falling bombs and
entered her bloodstream before she had a chance to scream.
Breathe in
the million stars she believed in
the daisies that grew where her words were laid
the ideas like light bulbs that lit her heart
burned out.

Breathe in.
People who care ask where
her smile is.
A bad day, she tells them
just a bad day
she doesn’t dare say
her story tells itself again
with each rising breath.
Breathe out
the story begins
sure as she rides one breath to the next
the next line hits
till she’s full of memories
like the dumpster that bore witness in the frozen alley
she knows she must wait
to be emptied.

Breathe in.
She can’t fit herself into pretty skirts
polished nails
pretty tales of fairy princesses, no this
is evil
living in her skin.
Breathe out
the burning simmers in her chest till
she’s certain she must house Medusa but
she’s not angry she’s
sad, she’s not sad, she’s
glad what happened wasn’t bad because
her friend says
nothing happened,
it wasn’t bad,
she sleeps
feeling him on her skin, the wind
is the only thing that takes his scent away
but she’s scared to go outside.
The story grows
it ebbs and flows,
her body aches
with the hatred she breathes into her every pore.
Her mother wants to know what it was she wore
how many drinks she had
the daughter locks the hurt inside with lies of
it’s fine, I’m fine
wanting someone to remind her it’s not
wanting someone to be her Medusa
and fill the angry spot
gratitude and forgiveness try to fill.
“Pretend it didn’t happen,
please dear god don’t tell your sister
like Medusa this pain is a myth
how dare you scare me
get to the point
I don’t need to know what he did
just as long as you’re fine
the rest will heal
with forgiveness
and time.”

Breathe in.
Her mother’s tears
bring the hope of anger till
“at least,” her mother says
“at least you weren’t...”
the final word never leaves her lips
too terrible to be spoken, but this
wasn’t that,
wasn’t bad, it’s sad but she’s fine
she’ll soon forget
just as long as she’s not
Breathe out.
Her daddy
doesn’t meet her eyes for two days
says no words of comfort or blame just
silence, so it becomes
The secrets mount.
She swallows them
like fish hooks, hoping they’ll catch
the truth in her bloodstream, hoping
the barbed hooks
will give her reason to scream.
Breathe in
the story should be fading by the day,
they say
time heals all wounds and
forgiveness will set you free
so she’s not angry because
it wasn’t bad
it wasn’t bad
it wasn’t what it could have been
it was just an “almost,”
and almost
never counts.

Breathe in
the aspirated hatred in her lungs becomes
the need for perfection
unattainable SuperWoman schemes
anything to fill
the place anger tries to live
anything to hide
the moments when she cries
breathe in
hold the breath
keep going
don’t stop
who knows how long she can wait
to exhale.

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