-

I’m a naked body of nervous energy
hyper-aware and over-exposed
I know every time I open my mouth
I am showing more of myself
than I have ever – than I would ever
now that I am sober
ish – close enough – mostly

I am trapped, endlessly, in my
seaside city
tied to a university, to people
that don’t yet know me

I want a year – two –
I want West Coast
sun in my veins
space enough to write
if only, give me a week – two
to wrap myself back up
in words and bedsheets

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

Quitting

When I quit drugs – okay –
just pills, okay, just painkillers
that I took daily to remedy
something
I was ready for it to hurt
for my stomach to burn
and my head to burst
and I didn’t account for
how boring
it could be

With nothing to – punctuate
to separate mornings
from afternoons, from nights
and I wake early, I can’t sleep
until three
like I used to
and I yawn with every tired
class, every shift
that I can finally feel
that I am not numb to

I have self-medicated daily
in some ways for a decade
I have taken this, drank something
abused someone else’s
prescription
and I am faced with
what I’ve left

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

Recovery

“She has forgiven me”
I wrote as if it matters
as if I know the difference
between relapse and one glass
between friendship and filled space
days to recharge, days I am ignored

Forgiving myself is harder
as I attempt to recover
and I look again to the teacher
to fuck me, to tell me:
you are worth anything

But am I motivated?
are my words and hours spent
worth it – am I still –
just a bartender, just full of pills
that make others sick
that might kill me, too

I am still sneaking in wine
and lying to the good doctor

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

Company

You are only as good as
the company you keep
and as a pseudo-orphan
as an almost-alone
I was not much good at all
and as I got older – as I
gained and lost again
I learned to be as good
as the things I learn
and as the things I say
the knowledge I keep,
the things that I know
they keep me awake
and they put me to sleep

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

-

My own skin is comfortable, more tolerable when the sun comes out. I do not move and itch, I do not claw at my own eyes in the spring. I was on the bus this morning and it was so fiercely sunny, so warm. I saw that my city had planted some flowers that had finally come to bloom after a few long months living in frozen ground. Mornings are never easy, but I at least see them. My workplace is a greenhouse and I am going to grow – I am becoming a little more with every passing day, as winter turns to spring. As the leaves grow back onto the trees, as the clouds move away. If my thoughts seem incomplete that’s because they are – I haven’t yet formed a whole idea, I am not yet a whole formed person. I am desperate to become better and more complete, to look after myself and become more than I was at fourteen, fifteen, twenty. I can recover. My head still aches, I still take pills. I still worry what others think of me, I still cry. But I am growing, I am growing. I long for California but not in the way that I need it – I have a life here, in this teeny-tiny town where I know everyone. I know everything and it is exhausting but I have made myself a home. I want the West Coast in the way I long for Christmas – I need it to look forward to, I want it for a week or three. But I can always come home, and I want to be home.

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

-

I saw my sister as I see myself at eight, and I am watching a tragedy. Every day that I see her laugh, that I see her draw and throw her head back and devour candy floss – they are numbered. I attend her funeral every day, watching that child die. I want to be surprised, good god let me be surprised – let me see that woman become a parent, a mother, let me see her change as she never could with me. Oh, I know I wasn’t wanted. I know I was an accident, a blemish on a perfect tapestry of alcohol and drugs and poverty. I know I was inopportune, but god, I never deserved to be despised. Children are pure, children are a second chance. I often wonder if it was my fault – if I was sick and tainted, if the reason I was cast aside and thrown around was inside me. I often wonder why other parents and teachers, other mothers, why they never stepped in. A sympathetic friend is not the same as a saviour. I know that I knew I was different, but I did not understand. I had my fun, I had my rituals to protect me. If I tap this seven, fifteen times – she will not come for me tonight. She will leave. At thirteen I suppose, I took to pills and to alcohol and to thieving for some security. I could look after myself, with my friends and my built-up family. Oh my sister, I am not saying I wish you were not born. I only wish for you more than I had for me. I only wish this were not your truth, your life. You are my only light and perhaps one day you will hate me too for never saving you. Every day that we laugh and that I feed you, it is limited and you know. You are my greatest love, my deepest shame, my darkest regret. I want to save you but I know, this kind-hearted child will die. I stand at your grave, in five years or less, when you too will suffer as I did. When you will hate yourself, too. I wish I could save you, but you know I am no parent. I am here but I cannot give you everything. I offer sanctuary – a safe place to escape. I only hope you come out the other side as I did, damaged and hurt but alive. Hopeful.
My sister, I am still wearing black for every day that you still have to exist in that haunted house.

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

-

On my best days, I think I can be
well-rounded and whole, social
and clean. I think it isn’t my fault
I know that I can recover, rebuild

On my worst days, I know I can’t
that relapse is constant
that it was my fault, that I was
rotten to the core – and everyone
knows it

Most days I suffer – most days
I take pills, I get by
it happened, neither here nor there
and I am constantly surviving

Take from me overgrown paths
relatives, ignorance, bloody noses
take chip shop dinners and screaming
missed homework – and give me
my childhood back

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry