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Samantha Apr 2015
I never give him a name in my poems.
He is always “Him”,
Always a personification of a
Smothering darkness closing in.
On a bad day
I see nothing but black.
On a good day
He is a dim border
Making it only a little harder to see.

On a dim day
I can wake up and take a shower.
I can present my naked body to myself.
I am not a Renaissance painting.
I am not pink and soft,
I do not have flowing blonde hair
Tumbling down my back,
But he still picked me to play his
Mona Lisa smile.

On a dim day
I can read on the bus.
I can ignore the *** holes,
The bumps in the road that remind me of my skin.
The skin that was touched and burned,
That scraped against the ridges of his fingerprints.

On a dark day
I take more than the recommended amount of pain killers.
On a dark day
My spine curves into the golden ratio,
The perfect submissive pose.
On a dark day
His hands are my hands,
Slippery with butter and calloused from his car.
On a dark day
I am a gutted museum of trauma.
I am cigarette ashes.
I am a tongue tied convulsing mess.

On a dark day
I am fifteen again with cracked collarbones.
On a dim day
I can’t even muster up enough thanks
That he left me alive.
Samantha Apr 2015
I imagine my death a lot.

I am 28 years old
With two poetry anthologies
And a novel out
Living in New York City with a
Husband who doubles as a musician.
No kids,
Three dogs.
I laugh so hard I combust into nothingness
And my husband writes my memory
Into a song.

I am 19 years old
And looking over the edge of a
Casino building in Atlantic City.
Just last week a man
Flung himself down onto the ghost streets
Because no one told him
There’d be no gun in his game of roulette.
He had to take matters into his own hands.
The rain washed him into the ocean.
I hope it does the same for me.

I am 60 years old
And living in the New Mexico desert
Just outside of Roswell.
I look up at the night sky and
Hunt for UFOs.
I am yelling at the clouds
‘Just take me already!
Take these withered bones,
Take this soft skin!
Find me a new home!
One where I fit in!’
I have a heart attack just as they come to collect me.

I am 18 years old,
A sad girl from New Jersey.
A sad girl who grinds her teeth into stardust,
Who plays with the frayed ends of existence,
Who smiles with fury.

I imagine my death a lot.
But you see,
I’m dying.
I’m dying dying dying dying
And you are too.

There is no need for imagining.
Samantha Apr 2015
I walk into the thrift store yelling at my mother,
which is terrible because
1) I’m yelling at my mother in public and
2) I’ve always hated people who yell at their mothers in public.
But she just won’t stop
Dissecting every part of me that I hate,
Every part that is stripped bare for all the world to see
But is still somehow secret.

Somewhere between 12 year old me
With her short blunt black curls and bruised knees
And 15 year old me
With her blood shot eyes and broken back trauma
I’ve developed a habit of stuttering my words,
Of letting anxiety snake through me like
Early on set rigor mortis.
Somewhere things got seriously ****** up.

How do you tell your mother,
Who birthed you who raised you who loved you,
That you can’t talk to strangers
Because you once got too friendly with a boy
Holding garden sheers,
A boy who clipped your wings and left you
On a bedroom floor?
How do you tell her
Your poems aren’t just statements,
They’re stories?
How do you tell her
You’re like Sisyphus with the boulder,
Like Prometheus with the eagle?
How do you tell the truth?

I walk out of the thrift store quiet.
My mother doesn’t say a thing.
On the way home
She takes sharp turns and hits the brakes.
My stomach churns.
This is my punishment and I deserve this
For yelling at my mother.
Samantha Apr 2015
Another year older with a bullet between my teeth
And I never thought I’d make it this far.
I remember being sixteen and
Shedding tears of joy,
Shouting in pure rapture,
‘I’m alive! I’m alive!’

Another year older with a bullet between my teeth
And I am nine years old again
Staring up at a Monet,
Then a Van Gogh,
Then an artist I don’t know but love dearly
Because you have to love dearly
Before you can hold all this art
In the fractured mirror you call eyes.

Another year older with a bullet between my teeth
And this is the happiest poem I have written in awhile.
Tomorrow morning I will wake up
And I will be fifteen again
Sprawled out naked on the chopping block
Like fresh shot game.
But for now I am Cinderella dancing at the ball,
But this time I am my own prince,
This time midnight doesn’t come until I say it can,
This time there is no ugly stepsister
Or glass slipper
Or pumpkin shaped carriage waiting outside.

This time
I’m another year old and there is no bullet.
Just me and the clock tower
Singing out a sweet spring tune.
Samantha Apr 2015
Every time he looks at me
I see cracks in his eyes that remind me
Of the only word I’ve ever truly known:

He is so prepared to lay himself out at my altar,
Plunge the dagger into his ****** chest,
Bleed onto my statues.
I will not,
I can not,
do the same.

They call me monster behind closed doors.
How can I do that to someone?
How can I let them yearn and pine without giving them a chance,
A chance to be the apple to my eye,
the moon to my tide,
and every cliche in between?

He thinks I can just kiss his scars away.
That my bruised and swollen love can heal his hurt.
But I can’t be his savior and mine.
I will always come first.
Samantha Apr 2015
She is making love to the music,
She is making love to the stage.
She is blue and purple and red.
She is a lipstick stain,
A songstress,
She has aged a hundred years.

Her voice rings out,
Clear and soulful,
Over the static of the others.
The microphone is her battle axe
And I’ve never seen
Such a beautiful fight.
Samantha Apr 2015
There’s cuts on my knuckles that I don’t remember getting
And a hole in the wall hiding love letters inside.
I lay in the middle of a sea
Of broken records.
Tears shed off my cheeks like chips of paint.
I am manic,
I am antidepressants.
I am dry heaving into the fist sized hole in the wall.
I am falling asleep
And I am never waking up.
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