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Kally Sep 2013
convincing a child that someone is now
forever absent
from their life is a matter of
saying goodbye, wiping up tears,
and never seeing a trace of them

as an eighteen year old,
i would have appreciated the child's version
of this ritual of persuasion.
instead, i got two-month intervals of
delay and lingering,
times of remaining identical
to the stale soul i had become.
i could count the intervals
exactly to the day -
two months was the longest
anyone could go before shattering
into insignificant shards.

as a twenty year old,
i have become skeptical
of the idea that someone could
leave at all.
i might not speak to them,
i might not see them,
i might not notice things around me
that used to define my vision of them,
but the absence of habits
gives absolutely no validity
to the claim that they are
forever gone from my world.

i have spent four point zero two percent
of my life with dulled senses.
for ten months
my vision was blurry,
my hearing was garbled,
my sense of smell was practically
ripped out of my body.
in this time, i forgot that:
there is a certain angle to the shoulder blades
that i find beautiful,
i feel at peace when i hear a boy sing,
a familiar scent can snap me back to
whatever year i first smelled it.
my lack of perceiving the world
almost convinced me that
someone could be forever absent.

but my senses have recently
come back to me,
along with all the memories
they originally created.
i can finally see the bridges of noses
and the straightness of forearms,
i can finally hear voices tip toe
around guitar strings,
i can finally recall how
comforting it is to know
exactly how the most important people in my life

i took this reunion of senses
as a sign to move forward,
as a sign that
i'm through with waiting.
my life has taken a turn
and i have swiftly started
on a path to being
someone no one knew before.
i have heard quite a number
of testimonials that explain
in great detail
just how different i have become.

and some nights that is the last thing
i want to hear -
that i succeeded in changing myself,
that i succeeded in giving up
what i thought i stood for,
what i thought i wanted,
what i thought was permanent.
i loved who i was.
i still love who i was.
but, i have almost been thoroughly convinced
that who i was is now
completely absent from
my current spirit.

i am learning to love my senses again,
even though they remind me of
how i lived the other
ninety-five point nine eight percent
of my life.

strangers can smell like boys i thought
were forever gone,
strangers can laugh just like boys i thought
were forever absent,
strangers can have the same stretch of shoulders
and the same strong forearms as boys i thought
would never come back.
and sometimes they take the seat next to mine
on the bus,
in class,
at a movie or at dinner.

so, as an almost twenty-one year old,
i have decided that surely,
no one can ever be forever absent
from your life.
the best you can get is
a deadening of senses so that
you no longer notice all the little things
that bring the part of your soul
that they labeled as theirs
back into being.
Kally Jul 2013
what am i doing to myself?

that surge of panic
a heart-stuttering, mouth-opening, clenching-of-the-jaw

the realization that my hands are to blame
   for the strength of my bones
   for the confidence in my eyes
   for the smile that comes so naturally now-

how do i take this back?

how could i be such a stranger to myself
how could i let my dreams fall away
how could i pack it all into a single shoe box
how could i leave her behind,
   after all she's done for me?

this line is much too thin to walk
and my bathophobia is making me stumble

one side of the fence houses
   fruit, sweat, strength, genuine laughter, newness of life
   and enough self-worth to inspire
the other contains
   blood, tears, collapse and destruction, a lack of sleep
   and enough regret to drown everyone i've ever loved
   and yet, in my eyes, it is comfort

how do i choose between health and safety?
why am i making myself destroy one life to start another?

will it even be worth it when someone else
steps out of the ashes?
Kally Jun 2013
empty bottle resembles empty heart

   and empty head,

   and empty bed


every song is a punch to the gut
   reminding her that she must
   she must

   be better, be stronger, be confident

and yet relapse is on the road
   to the imaginary land of recovery


she develops an intense relationship
   with her lonesome bed

blanets reach out to keep her pinned
   -to pillows
   -in sleep
   -with tear-stained cheeks, chewed up nails,
    swollen shoulder blades

her mattress is desperate for the kisses and sighs
   she gives it night after night
Kally May 2013
every meal is an unavoidable family feast
   meat, bread, cheese, dessert
   regret is building inside of me-
   inside my stomach, my thighs, my cheeks.

clouds, freezing wind, pouring rain
   a sad excuse for summer
   it leaves me just as down
   as i was a year ago today.

pressured to look busy, to be busy
   to go places without transportation
   to see people who are states away
   to go outside in the lifeless sun.

privacy is sunday mornings and showers
   watch what you say, what you show
   be prepared to defend a tear or fist
   don't you break down.  not here.
   breakdowns aren't accepted at home.
Kally May 2013
We met on a street out in the middle of Brunberry.  Often times, we'd sit on the curb, watching the middle aged man in the corner house fix up his boat-of-a-car.  Or, on Sundays, the chubby, bakery-esque woman would walk her grandchildren down the road to church.  We were young, then.  I still visit that street in Brunberry, and, in fact, it is called Feldspar Road.  The man on the corner, with the old car?  His name is Charles North, and he's a retired mechanic.  The grandmother is dead now, but her daughter and grandkids moved in a couple years ago.  I still come back and check up on those people, and I still watch the leaves fall in autumn and watch water pool around our favorite bench in spring.  The air is just as crisp as when we were children.  Feldspar Road is just as it was when we were young.


Just off of Feldspar Road, there is a park.  Really, it's just a wide, open field, with unkempt grass that the neighborhood has picnics and late afternoon barbecues on.  Do you remember when we stopped by the Feldspar block party on your twentieth birthday weekend?  It was warm and the sun was blinding; a perfect July day for grilling out in the park.  You pulled me down onto the dried grass and we watched all of the familiar people gabbing and gossiping with neighbors.  Charles, grandma and the children, that young couple that had recently moved in.  These people were like our family, even though we didn't live here.  They made us feel at home.


It's October, and Feldspar Road is coated in bright yellow leaves.  I haven't heard from you in a few months, but I'm sure you're doing okay.  You've been busy with your new friends at your university a few states away.  Feldspar misses you, as do I.  Charles is getting old; his car sits, rusted, in the driveway.  The young couple got divorced, and I'm pretty sure the girl kicked the boy out of the house.  Things are getting dark, despite the turning leaves.  I do sure hope you're doing okay.  The park has a playground, now, and the few children in the neighborhood play there after school.  I've memorized jump rope rhymes, patterns in cat's cradle, and the hardest hopscotch courses.  I know you always loved kids, and watching them play makes me wish you could be here to laugh along with me.


I moved out to Kentucky this April.  I needed to get away from home, and away from Feldspar Road.  I visited much too often, and after Charles died, and all new people lived on the block, I felt out of place.  Whatever made Feldspar feel like home was gone.  It's been years since I saw you, and I can only assume you've found someone to love, someone to lay in the grass with, someone to marry.  Me?  I'm starting to meet new people in the area.  I like to spend my time out in the fields by the border.  It's quiet, unless you count the crows and crickets.  It's peaceful, and standing there in the breeze, with the wheat up to my chest, watching the sky turn bright orange in the evening, makes me feel a bit happier.  A little less lonely and a little more at home.
Kally May 2013
two days into it,
already tip-toeing across creaking floors
and keeping eyes down to avoid confrontations.
all mom does is cry, argue, complain,
and i'm here to clean up the mess,
to agree with her, to make it all better.

two days into it,
already missing my support system
and my best friends to make me laugh.
i work out, but mom questions my reasoning.
i eat a snack, but mom questions calories.
i watch a show, but mom questions my scheduling abilities.
i do something as simple as lay down,
   and mom questions my productivity.

i am seen as a drain on this family because
i am working on fixing myself.

questions upon questions that i have no answer to:
when am i going to work,
when is my group counseling,
when do i have volleyball,
how will i pay tuition,
how will i pay rent,
why am i changing my major,
how do i feel about people i haven't even
   talked to in months,
am i going to mail him the necklace
   i thought was lost,
am i depressed am i suicidal am i cutting.

mom i just don't have answers for you.
and i think it's about time you stopped asking.
Kally May 2013
A bitter stench follows your steps
corroding the tips of your hair
biting at the back of your throat
floating its way into my home.

You are sick.


Your search for perfection is contagious
a path paved with shards of glass
beautiful from afar
but this path is destructive.

You are incomplete.


Thin white lines decorate your arms
too many hours spent in rotten company
the habit is not firm
but the lust for scars is strong.

You are blemished.


Fingers grace strings and a voice sails
your talent is pure and unyielding
a reminder of what once played in my ears
you are a breath of familiar air.

You are homesickness.


Bleach stains appear on shoulders
scrub clean the mess which you have created
tear skin, split lips
shatter, mutilate, punish.

You are caustic, Kelly.
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