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she must be the perfect 1950's housewife,
wearing her rogue lipstick upon her chalky
foundation. every weekend, your wife cleans
out the closets filled with the skeletons you
bring back home. i wonder if her motherly
instinct kicks in, if the warning sirens ever
go off in her head when you come home
smelling like a one night stand. i wonder
if she ever sleeps in the same bed as you,
and i wonder how much the kids gather of
your relationship with him from arguments
behind closed bedroom doors.

i wonder how much of her smile is false
advertisement. i wonder when she will
finally have enough of his white lies.
to own up to your crimes,
first, you must admit to the jury of
the candles lit that burned bridges,
let's have a drink for your children,
innocent, untainted, left in the dark,
unable to see the fires their father
left behind. how do you not smell
the burning embers on him? how
do you not smell the offal?

in the absence of hope,
there was women,
and that's how i will begin my revolution;
i'll create waves so strong, ridges form in
concrete stone with power-hungry women.
i will bring my strongest army, all the artillery
i can wield, if only to feel safe again in my skin.
Katelyn Arnold Nov 2019
the pink skirt she's wearing
the pink peonys braided into the
curls of
her chestnut hair
the pink on her cheeks
and on her lips as she looks at me,
startle me. there's something in her
eyes when she looks at me, like i'm magical,
but that's her, shimmering in colors
that don't even ******* exist.
there's something magical about her
that brings both chaos and stillness to
my world. she's the still before the
hurricane,
and the hurricane itself.

manifest destiny? i'm trying to.
Katelyn Arnold Oct 2019
how do you make our sin feel like
******* *******, like i'm in suspension,
i am floating,
i am intricate,
i am beautiful,
but i am wrapped up in ropes
bound to you like the fool i am,
playing with matches between the
trees and scrubery like i have mastered
the art of convincing myself that i can't
possibly start a forest fire. i pretend like
i don't see that subtle movement of you
taking off your wedding ring and hiding
it underneath your favorite hunter's cap,
and i have to wonder:

"is the trauma from being a victim of cheating
the reason why i am your mistress? regardless,
i am a fool for missing your skin on mine."
Katelyn Arnold Sep 2019
i was growing in the stomach
in the garden of the mother's womb
an idea: developing slow like a photograph

by that time, you were fifteen, experiencing
adolescent love and sneaking whiskey from
your dad's secret stash on the weekends.

i am 25 now, a succubus disguised as
a highly attractive enchantress. black hair,
with a damaged heart to match.

you are 40 now, your party days behind you
with two sons and a trophy wife to go back
home to.

you kissed me last night
and i wished with everything in me
that i could have kissed you harder back.
Katelyn Arnold Apr 2019
in visuals,
your eyes
like green seraphinite
your smile
like the white gates to heaven
your arms
a plastered ivory with constellations of red freckles

my hands
covered in third degree burns
from the last time i was touched
my mouth
saying the wrong things
at the wrong times
my eyes
they're exhausted but
they are always looking
at you.

you are a motion picture &
i never want the story to
come to an end.
Katelyn Arnold Jan 2019
g.a.
swallow the blood of the covenant
between you and the lord, they said,
but the wine tasted too sweet. the wine
tasted like a cancer that i had to wean off.

t.h.
fall out boy should write a song called
"welcome to your own personal hell",
and it should tell our story of betrayal.

t.p.
the silence is a loud house guest. i could
not sleep at night because of it. your hands
felt like i was grabbing onto stones, onto
something hard and unfamiliar.

j.s.
i swallowed my words, which replaced my hunger
aches. while i grew skinnier, you swallowed your
animalistic tendencies through another.

m.t.
do you ever feel afraid of not fitting back
into someone's life like you used to? but
i learned that once something is broken,
the cracks will still remain.

n.d.
a time bomb
t i c k i n g
tick
tock
tick
tock
every time i spoke, it sounded like a threat
but nothing i could do would calm him.
i made sure i was at a safe distance
before the explosions happened.

t.r.
an eye for an eye
an ear for an ear
you ruined me
so in turn
i had to ruin you

c.h.
the words you spoke weren't enough
for the green grass on the other side
to look like a crime scene. kind words
do not bring back dead people. kind
words do not pay off jail bonds. kind
words did not stop depression.

r.m.
there was something so captivating
about taking you off the path of salvation
of maybe being your calypso, but penelope
had other plans for us.

a.a.
i want to build a fire from the ashes
the other lovers left behind. i want the
tragedy to fertilize a garden from your
chest, to crack you open painlessly.

you came into my life like a comet,
like a ball of fire, like something
beautiful that i want to put my faith in
and also perhaps set fires inside me.
and maybe one day, i can stunt your
doubt and block it in it's tracks.

i want to persevere
through the trials
so this yields a fruit
that nobody else could create.
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