we want to say that we built this house with our hands
with our blood
we built this house and burned it down
we rebuilt this house and burned it down
we rebuilt this house and stayed
i want to tell you that my father builds houses for a living but i have never lived in one
i want to tell you that my mother still asks how you're doing
i want to say that we built this house and it's never abandoned and we are never waiting by the windows
that we always have wood for the fireplace
we never drink alone
i never fall asleep in the shower
in this house our love keeps the lights on
you can feel it through the floorboards like vibrations through a phonograph through the hardwood through your back
we sleep monday through thursday and get paid on weekends to drink whiskey and slow dance in the kitchen
we roll around in bed trying to catch the light
our bodies become curtains or sponges
you soak me up like sunshine and nobody asks where i went
we always finish what we start
i become welcome mat, welcome back, come back,
i turned the basement into a music room
when it rains for you it never floods
we built this house with our hands, with our love, with our blood
there is wood for the fireplace
the flames never spread
I am my fathers daughter.
I know this because he tells me every time he's drunk or every time I'm drunk
I think it started when my mother left
skipped town with the preacher
left me shaking in the bathroom holding my knees like a bad taste in my mouth
this is family
this is coming home or the lack of coming back
this is making toast for your mom when she's had too much wine and somehow ends up where it all began, in the apartment that was once hers but has since switched ownership
this house is not a home
without a mother
this house is not a home without the fathers daughter
we become glue for those who cannot become sober
we become wall, ball and chain, we become our fathers at such a young age we forget how to be anything besides drunk
I'm laying here with the window open listening to the rain for secrets or something or waiting for you to tell me what you haven't been telling me
like maybe there really is a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair and her eyes are the kind of blue that is never mistaken for grey
she touches your chin before she kisses you, real softly or maybe she traces the spot above your lip where we all know angels rested their fingers before we were sent down here to rot or thrive
maybe you talk about gardens with her, how you'd never ever own an orchid cause that ***** ex of yours demanded one every hospital visit
how flowers aren't for boys but you'll pretend to watch football while you're really watching her bend down to touch the dirt like she used to smooth her baby brothers hair out of his little eyes
before their parents decided that it was more convenient to buy them a little apartment and keep money in the safe while they spent their pensions in Florida watching alligators and Dolphins and toucan ******* Sam but never at the same time
you see, I don't drink earl grey cause it tastes like fruit loops
and I don't eat fruit loops cause it tastes like the childhood I erased from my memory by forcing myself to dissociate
maybe this, is something else altogether
maybe this... is not true, another delusion, maybe your hands are busy counting change out for cardboard signs
maybe your feet move a little bit faster, not because you're in a rush to see someone who isn't me but because you're so scared of ending up back where you started
they're saying "all you do is drink and cry", "I think you're bad for everyone" and you're not saying anything and I'm saying I love you,
I ******* love you
And maybe I needed something to bring me back to reality maybe these bathtubs are always a little too deep for me but I fit so perfectly in small spaces because I learned when I was 14 that i was never gonna grow into a butterfly
but my aunt still calls me hers and I'd still flutter my eyelashes on yours while the earth turned to ash because I like things ending so softly
and you are a ******* miracle if I've ever seen one I want to sleep with you so badly, on a trampoline in the summer and I want to watch you do bad things and smile so sweetly at you and you'll know that I don't give a **** what you do as long as you're still loving me while you're doing it because baby we've got this one life and I've been loving you as long as I have known what love is and I know it's in the way you whisper and I know it's in the way you say you're my world and if the world stopped turning tomorrow we'd be the only things still moving with excitement you make me so nervous and calm and nervous and calm and deep breath you make me nervous I bet you'll make me nervous when we're older and I'm making you pancakes and I feel your eyes on me and I burn my fingers but you always kiss them better baby
you're an alleyway and the kitten that sleeps there
you're the rain on the windowpane and the water breaking the levee
I'm drowning in everything I have ever said to you so if I say one last thing one last thing,
while you're not saying anything,
I love you,
I ******* love you
when someone thanks me for writing the things they wish they could say out loud I apologize for hours until they stop wishing and ask me why. I usually tell them the same thing
"do you know when you're driving alone and that one song comes on, you know that one. that one song with a million different memories dripping off the tongue of that one man who sings like he never got on that airplane and so he didn't not make it back to the ground? and you're thinking about crashing and when you're thinking about crashing you almost do crash, because you were distracted about crashing and you get scared and realize that you just want to not want to crash? well that's how I feel all the time. Even when I'm completely still. Or when you're in the bath and you see faces in the ceiling and you wonder if the faces you're seeing are significant? like maybe you're seeing their face because they never meant to hurt you or maybe you took an extra 20 milligrams today and you're just a little out of sorts."
I'm not done explaining why I'm sorry, but this is usually around the time they interrupt, all "no, I apologize" all "I shouldn't have asked"
my pianos a deaf mute
doesn't care when I smash the keys
I tell it anyways, listen here, you miracle, you conversation piece, I'm going to play you without plugging you in because 1) who makes electronic pianos and 2) I can hear the sounds in my head, just like old times old times old times
I map out a Beatles song I hate because I really just want you to hold my hand
I never take my foot off the soft pedal because it should always be gentle and I should always be gentle to you and God knows you're the only one listening so listen here and listen close
i know im not really alone because we are attached by the red string of fate or friendship or car crash and I know this because you're the only one I can say these things to without getting myself committed
if you want me I'll be in the bar buying you drinks you'll never be thirsty enough to let touch your tongue and what is all of this shaking for
who first felt this feeling and said **** I'm in love or **** I Might be dying because my chest kind of feels like the monkey bars after rain we all fall off of because we're too ******* stubborn to wait a while
what is it about instant gratification that has everyone around me filling up their gas tanks because "it's not gonna get this low again for a long time" and how I wish I could say the same for myself or
how I wish I could say the same for you
I don't know if this poem is a piano or if this poem is you or if this poem is drunk and wanting to call someone who will pick up or listen or want to
I once said to someone "I think I really need to talk about this" and I shouldn't have been surprised when I was handed a hotline but maybe you have always been answering the phone "tell me where it hurts, and then tell me again"
I have voices in my head.
sometimes they are mine and sometimes they are that girl walking down the street without a hat or a home address and I know this because I know things without knowing them.
there is hurt here, in this car full of silver and new and no smoking or I'll rip your fingers off.
my mother knows how to say amen like she's still dedicated to the Catholic Church I tell her, you should have given that up the day they refused to baptize me.
everyone sees dark in me where there is none.
I was a baby and I was a baby and I'm still a baby, or I wish I was.
I'm a baby who cries and says good morning every day even if it's not.
I say good morning when I wake up after missing dinner
I refuse to touch China now
my hands don't listen to the voices in my head all they think is break break break and the break break break sounds itself like cracking open and I need to lobotomize the dishes in here before she gets sentimental about handing them down to me when I finally find someone who isn't scared of waking up beside me to find my throat slashed
here it is. truth, because there is no right or wrong there is truth.
and truth sets you free.
it sets you free and it has you without a hat or a home address and you still wonder why nobody sends you letters back.
you say they forget your name. Or your middle name but it doesn't matter.
I only answer to "baby girl, do you want me to call the doctor for you?"