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i don't watch home movies
hate them
reason being because
when i was young
i was looking for a movie
my mother
had recorded for me
and accidentally
put one in the vcr
that i'm not sure
i was supposed to see
i know the obvious response
"uh oh, ****"
sorry to disappoint
they were only marked with dates
  1991
on live television
montel williams asks my father
"how can you just throw
your child away like a piece of trash?"

   1994
i spend so much time
in the emergency room
that my parents stop
penciling in growth marks
on the frame
of my bedroom door
i always thought
it was because they believed
i would never grow out
of this sickness
sometimes i believe
the reason that they
never bought me a dream catcher
was because they never thought
i'd live long enough
to see them come true
   1996
i am eliminated
from a spelling bee
because i didn't know
the 'dad' is silent in 'family'
   2013
before i got into poetry
i used to do standup
none of my jokes were funny
one of the other comics
tells me my skits are dry
sometimes sad
he says "why don't you joke
about something like your family?"

so i say
"i never wore any sunblock
because i didn't want anything
to keep me from my father"

i say "what do you call christmas
without lights or heat?"

before he has a chance
to answer
i say "1997. better yet
why don't you
make like a dad and
leave"

   2014
every time we drive
past the hospital
my mother reminds me
how much it cost to save my life
like she'd rather
have her money back
she doesn't have to say
that sometimes she wishes
it was me who had died
instead of my brother
i can hear it in the way
she says "love you"
sometimes i imagine
that if i were to die
that she
would pick out a casket for a child
because she never loved
the person i became
yesterday i told my father
how close i'd been
to suicide lately
and he said
"that's my boy,
livin on the edge.."

and i can't remember
if i laughed
or cried
 Oct 2015 Cassie Stoddard
ross
I took the road most familiar to get back home.
The sky was silent and black and cold but I looked up and saw my reflection staring back at me in the brightest star.
"Who are you?" I tried to get acquainted.
"Well I am the one most forgotten.
You see, everyone knows the moon, Jupiter, and Venus.
But I am only remembered upon request.
I am the light that guides you home when you are lost."
But I found comfort in calling my suitcase home years ago when my paper well burned in flames like red devils dancing  and mama no longer found use in me for her steady high.
I am familiar with the backseat of my car during the coldest of winter nights in between screaming voices and frequent tears of frustration.
I can no longer decipher reality from dreams or nightmares because I am constantly ******* screaming,
Screaming and nothing is coming out except dry heaves between every other gasp for fresh air.
But I can tell you they are loud and they are deafening but only at night when traveling the familiar road because only the brightest star hears it.
 Oct 2015 Cassie Stoddard
ross
Every morning I'll wake up shaking from the things I lack in life.
So I'll add ***** to my coffee to help forget.
I'll mix my anxiety with more stimulants to help preoccupy my mind.
A million thoughts racing but you make it a million and one.
I don't think about him the way I think about you.
I still remember the way your hands would shake whenever they were placed on my hips and the way you kissed my neck never felt short of feeling unsure.
When the tips of our fingers graze each other, I still remember how hesitant you were to touch a square inch of my flesh.
Your absence left me nervous and that's become my new identity, but even though we've been acquainted before, we became close friends.
Afraid of letting go so we grew together instead.
My hands shake just like yours do and I still add anxiety to my liquid courage and pray that I wake up the next morning hoping to drink my coffee alone and maybe then I can tell you the reason why I am intertwined within his sheets and not yours is because he made me feel like someone wanted me, and that's something you could never do.
 Oct 2015 Cassie Stoddard
M
Untitled
 Oct 2015 Cassie Stoddard
M
I want to pour hydrogen peroxide through my veins
so maybe then it will flush you out.
a bit overdramatic but..

not about anyone specifically. just thinking about how over the course of my life so many people have taken commanding roles of my destiny and I'm tired of being led around by other people's ideas of who I should be. I want to wash myself clean of all these people in the past.
There's a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she's wandered
And the shame she can't hide

She says, "How did I get here?
I'm not who I once was.
And I'm crippled by the fear
That I've fallen too far to love"

But don't you know who you are,
What's been done for you?
Yeah don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

Well she tries to believe it
That she's been given new life
But she can't shake the feeling
That it's not true tonight

She knows all the answers
And she's rehearsed all the lines
And so she'll try to do better
But then she's too weak to try

But don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

'Cause this is not about what you've done,
But what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been,
But where your brokenness brings you to

This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You've been remade
You've been remade.
You've been remade.
You've been remade.
This goes out to all the girls stuck in a rut of life struggles and sad days
 Oct 2015 Cassie Stoddard
honey
Tea in hand
Sun on my back
Wind on my face
That is called love
 Oct 2015 Cassie Stoddard
honey
Nothing is wrong but,
Sadness demands to be felt.
I will sleep it off.
Been having lots of mood swings the past couple of days. Ugh. Sleep always helps though.
A million little pixels...
that’s all that’s left of **you
Sometimes I catch myself thinkin’ about you with my fingers crossed.
And my eyes closed, like I’m wishing for something.
This is funny to me, because I learned recently
that my brain does this weird thing where it’s incapable of feeling superstitious.
I have always wanted a black cat.
You have always been a wishing well begging for the famished to come and dip their hands.
You wear a sign that says
“Take something, or leave something, doesn’t matter, just leave feeling won”
Leave feeling like you won.
This is how you will leave me.
When my fingers are crossed. Because then the promises don’t matter.
When my eyes are closed. Because it will hurt more to watch you leave
than to wonder if you crawled or if you ran.
When my teeth hurt, from all the chatter, from all the shake, from all the wisdom they extracted.
You know I’ve been leaving bite marks in the crust of the earth,
trying to find a wormhole that will take me to the moment you thought,
“hey, this girl’s gonna write poems about me every Friday” and
“hey, she won’t win me, but maybe she’ll win something”.
I'm the award winning heartache, I'm the pain they thought would last forever.
I'm my grandmother's years of Elvis & Jack Daniel's coming to the surface
and passing themselves off as vertigo.
You're the sum of the times you and the earth were in disagreement over your leaving.
You're the only thing that will shine when the sun dies.
We are Samson and Delilah. You are so sunshine.
I am grateful to the doctors that gave me second chances, I am grateful for the opportunity
that someday is engraved with.
This is how you will leave me.
I pray with my fingers crossed.
and my eyes closed, like I'm wishing for something.
I don't say Amen. I say thank you.
Thank you.
How long do I have to live
before I've lived long enough
to be allowed to die?
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