A gnashing cruelty and an

unfading whine like

A VCR spilled over with vase-water,

Keeps the shadowed part of me


It is not a reflection of the

Upbringing that

Taught me closed knees and a righteousness like


The part of me that aches in quiet,

The rawness, guts tacky with plasma,

Begged to be spilled across

a blinking

blankness – a place that

taught me the virtue in ruthless truth

a place that sucked the poison from wound

before stitching it shut.

This place taught me the name

Of the disorder that rent me apart

And gave me permission to fucking destroy it.

This place taught me

How to grieve when

The chapel closed for business,

This place was the eager ear

When I first fell in love

And knew this kind of affection was to be eschewed.

When I felt like a child of a

Heartless void,

Poetry moored me,

Became the face of my will to live and

Seeing the echo of my faintest self

Reflected back with dark-ringed eyes

Made me know I was not

The creature I felt,

This wounded part, crying out into nothingness,

Was a sliver of

My real self—

I learned

I had more;

More substance

And form

And life than I knew what to do with;

Poetry pried from me

The pain I held in clawed hands

and made sure

I would never miss it again.



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