You Own Me
Your face comes off in the rain. I mean, it all comes out in the wash.
I never missed anyone. And it was awful, when it came on. I kept company like a card up my sleeve, it was a plus when I needed it, but I wore t-shirts and jeans all through summer. No sleeves, nobody.
And then my Mother might be having a hard time at work and later my friend might be missing her ex boyfriend and my sister might be slitting her wrists in a bathtub somewhere and-
I need my waist touched, too. I need to sleep on my side with an arm beneath my neck, safest of tree branches. I can’t sleep for missing you. I could never sleep for missing you. I miss you when you are with me, when you’re lost in thought and your eyes, they don’t belong to me. In your dreams when you throat clicks across the inside of your throat I think of velvet like the inside of a casket and I miss you worst when the sound of your car goes in the driveway because sometimes it doesn’t start and
you get to come back in. I get you coming back in.
My mouth is a hellish place. It has a modest opening, slumped at the corners and self deprecating but wailing on the walk home last night because you weren’t there, my body was a cage with this one opening, the animal inside going wild with hunger and sadness like a residue, slick on my bones.
The street is not all that forgiving. The calls of heels clicking up and down and up and down and me with the bruises, with hell for a mouth, without you.
I lost face in the rain but you always seem to save it for me.
Yeah, OK. Whatever.
For the past year or so my Dad has been trying to get me to visit my ailing Grandmother, who I never really knew when she was alive. She’s almost more dead than otherwise, as it is now. He drags her in to conversations like a cat might drag a bird with its neck broken, awkward, chin lifted and eager. This woman left emptied by men, I hate to think of her as my lineage.
She had eleven children, I was the youngest grandchild for a decade or so. By the time I took my first breath her brain had reached all of the names it could hold.
It’s not like I have anything else important to do, but a lot of the things are better.
Nothing really changes all that much. I have been thinking a lot of family recently as I had a pregnancy scare not that long ago.
We said nothing for weeks even though my breasts were so sore I couldn’t let you lie on top of me.
I have no idea where I’m going with this. I have been reading a lot of Vonnegut lately and comparing myself to everybody else in a way that makes me want to cut the tips of my fingers off like
If I can’t be the best why bother at all.
I think I did write pretty things once.
I get lost in your mouth like my hands in coat pockets, braving the bitter winter while everyone else looks downcast. Life gets hard, life is hard for everyone. Things don’t necessarily get better but you can count on change as long as you keep on going outside.
The boots with the holes in the soles, go outside.
Your lips cracked like the beach sucked dry from the tide, go outside.
Bluish rings beneath your eyes, go outside.
Your patience thin, the tears come too easy and from nothing at all, go outside.
I like seeing a film on the day it’s released, when the good guy wins, the theater cheers and we look at each other and dig our heels back into the dirt of our childhood, where your face was painted and it was the best day of your life.
I feel like I’m receiving a standing ovation, as if my life was a show that everybody came to see and they cried when I cried and they got angry at me when I let my flaws as a human ruin progress. And now I’m the good guy, with my foot on somebody’s chest, and the crowd is going wild. The city is safe, the monsters are dead, the pets have come home.
I have come home to myself and the child I was once to keen to snap at, to call ugly, to call useless, she is happy. Paint on my face, stepping into a carnival, the entrance lies just beyond my front door. We are riding the ferris wheel together up to the stars.
The drugs are working.
I tied my hair up in a chignon and went for a walk, buttoned my collar, one foot in front of the other,
I don’t hate it when you leave and I don’t like it when you go.
The drugs are working I bought incense at a store that only dealt with fairtrade goods and the drugs are working
I mean I stopped after two rows even when I could have eaten the whole block.
The drugs are working
I’m not scared of looks that were never dirty in the first place and
I tried on yellow shirts while the drugs, they were working and when I get angry I get calm again and I iron lines so crisp they could
cut corners like I don’t because the drugs are working.
On the bus a man leaned across and asked where I was going and I just thought about making scrambled eggs at home and
when the doctor asked if the drugs were working I nodded and nodded till my jaw hung open and I spewed out thanks that
the drugs are working.