I wish you told me that wounding my knees was a part of the joy and that my hair already looked perfect in waves, and that bedtime stories weren't lame. I wish you told me these when I was a kid, instead of giving me the cliche ******* — those spilled stories over spilled beers about how you were forced to marry Mom instead of that girl named Beth.
We were caught in a story, the one with that school money thoughtlessly flung on the floor, road trips arguments and drunk-driving over eighty, and nonexistent goodnight kisses and hugs. As a kid, I believed those were the indicators of affection and love. But they're not and had I known that earlier, I wouldn't have stayed with someone who walked all over my mental health
with someone who took me on a desk and spit knives in his drunken slurs,
with someone who dialed another girl's number while thinking I was asleep,
with someone who only dialed my number while he thought his girl was asleep,
with someone who faded in the curtains after he saw my razored wrists,
with someone who said I was his ***** and called it his idea of love.
Had I known it earlier, I wouldn't have trusted men who hurt me just as you had. Had I known it earlier, I wouldn't have stayed with someone who had a ****** up notion of what love was. Had I known it earlier, I wouldn't have stayed with someone who was exactly like you.
Dad, had I known earlier that abuse wasn't supposed to be confused with love, I would have stayed alone.
and you ruined me,
way before those filthy hands
and forced kisses had,
way before cigarettes,
way before my poems
before best friend break-ups
and pretty boys
you see, it was you
who ruined me first,
all of them ever did.
it was you
who ruined me first,
everything else did,
and way before
and sometimes, i still wish
you weren't my first heartbreak
you always ask why i always stay in my room, in that voice that always made me feel small and vulnerable — the one that always made me feel like a five-year-old girl wishing that the blankets and the stars will hush the thunders.
you always ask why, dad, and yet you always find ways to hurt me the moment i come out of this four-walled shell, ashen and gray from all the storm clouds circling over my head. you always find ways to spot the cracks on my skin, like i was just another wall in this crumbling house. you always find ways lasso your words around my throat — tighter and tighter, i can no longer breathe. you always find ways to unhinge my mind; to unbottle all the tears and all the loose pieces of my heart hastily stitched out of place.
dad, i am caught in a trojan war brewed by my demons, and you are paris, piercing all of my achilles heels; stitched; tender; still healing from all the poisoned arrows you shoot — a year ago. two years ago. three. four. and for years and years, you always find ways to crush me, like the cans of your empty beer. you always find ways to crack and snap this bent framework; my bones are broken from the weight of your words. you always find ways to hurt me and hurt me and hurt me and hurt me again — like i was never the little girl you played dolls and cooking sets with; like i was never the little girl you watched disney movies with. like i was never the little girl you used to love — dad, i am still she, now trapped in the body of an adult. i am still she, now trapped in the prison of a dusty room you unknowingly co-erected. and i guess i'll stay right here where i'm trapped, but safe. i guess i'll stay right here where the voices only come from my demons.
i'll stay right here where you can't see me.
i'll stay right here where i'm not hurt.
And I hope one day, you meet her in some historic street, or in an old bookstore, or in some countryside field, and I hope she loves the way you speak with your lisp, and I hope she likes the films you like, and I hope she writes you poetry at 2 am. And I hope her words finally feel like the kind of home you’ve been looking for — the kind of home you’ll grow old in and never leave, and the one you never found in me.
Distance is a weird phenomenon, so is time.
We were two continents apart, yet connected.
So far yet so close.
We are in the same city and yet I can't see you.
So close yet so far.
Maybe because tears often blur my vision.
I talk to you and you make everything sound so normal, like nothing ever changed.
We never stopped talking. But we never started as well. And now that you're going, I feel like you were long gone before you came back.
I think it's fair enough: we didn't meet when you left, we didn't meet when you came back.
I hope this settles the score.
Until next time,
All my love.
I remember when I started drinking
myself to excess and I thought of you
how you didn't deserve such a **** friend
who couldn't keep their life from spiraling
I protected you the only way I knew how
pushing you away hurt but it was right
though I felt like you were, at that moment,
the last string tethering me to existence itself
I knew I was no good for you the way I was
though I wanted to call or text dozens of times
tell you about getting in to school or how
I had both fallen in love (and lost them entirely)
it was easy to go back to friendship
we're both the same people
we both love and care about each other
I don't miss what we had, because it's still here
dear, settle not for inauthentic love
find a poet who keeps your soul ablaze
someone exists who fits you like a glove
and will love you for who you are, always
it is not too much to ask for romance
candle-lit dinners, **** notes, warm baths
there is a power in love at first glance
but true romance keeps your journey on path
so keep your chin up and find a poet
for they will know love, and how to show it
sometimes I wish I could scoop you up
and place you carefully in my pocket
safe, tucked away from anything
or anyone that could hurt you
your inhibitions have never made you attractive
the vapid silence adds value only to the weaker
who dislike a challenge or good conversation
so leave behind your moments of shame
or self conscious memories of low self esteem
become the person you desire to be
rather than the one who's role you've been playing
all these years
once you learn to let go you will be able
to move on with reckless abandon
natural and beautiful
and find the love and happiness you crave