Sun, 10/04/2015 - 13:23 -- srntyMG

When I was eleven

I went shopping with

my mother.

It was like weaving

Through a drunken

Maypole, the

ribbons held by Barbies.

Who knew

that the rainbow’s

a lie and ROYGBIV

does the infinite

array no justice?


Weaving through the

corn maze of sparkly

hearts and pink

rhinestones, I pull a

 t-shirt from the shelf.

The color of my beloved

black lab pet, it

sported grinning skulls.

A hand reached from

behind me and snatched

the shirt out

of my fingertips.

My mother, bearing

Above me like a

20th century

Angel Gabriel,

there to save me

from my sin-prone

fashion sense.

“I will not have you

wear anything with

skulls on it.” She

hissed. My grandmother,

spectator to the event,

blinked innocently

behind petite frames.

“Try this.” came from

above, along with a hideous

lime green top.




My mother did not

know; perhaps

even I did not know.

That bones

and black

called to me, a

manifestation of the pain

that was a part

of me like a kidney or an


Like a squirrel I

held the pain

inside, a nut

saved for some distant

crisis inside pouched

cheeks and black

marble eyes.

Yet this attempt

of self preservation

had become

a toothache, a

rotting sore inside

myself that no

spitting, brushing,

or screaming could





I felt like a crash

dummy. The walls

of my existence were

an illusion, sweet

smelling and textured.

But a simple glance

could reveal the

studs and spikes closing

in on me;

a single inhale

would realize the

sick taste of death

in the air.

The slices

crisscrossing  my

thighs and legs

told a flesh

story of school

fights, shattered

friendships, and

sunset bruises.




I sought the snake

of rope coiled near

my father’s tool

chest two years


I was a battery.

Outside, a plastic

shell spoke of

happiness, energy, success.

Inside was an

acid eating away

at my lungs

my heart

my mind.

My neck ached

for  the course hands

of the rope to

 steal the breath from my blood.

Instead I held it so

tightly it left

an angry red flame

on my hands that

itched for days.



Two years later

I swam in alcohol

like it was the

god damned fourth of July

and I had a fever.

I stopped counting the pills

as they tore at

my senses like beasts

that had the scent of my

blood in their nostrils.




So many secrets.

So many lies.

So much pain, I became


Too many sleepless nights



My life was a Red Solo Cup

filled to the splintering brim

with flying rants

aimed at my family like blades;

requests to turn the lights

off before making love

so no one saw the scars,

inside or out.

Little did I know they

glowed in the dark

like a frat party

of phosphorescent cartoon eels

laced on my skin.




I felt like the fourth

wheel on a pushcart.

Unwanted at birth

by two people having

the time of their lives.

Unwanted at adoption,

a buy-one-get-one-free rip-off.

Unwanted by the age of

eleven, damaged goods.

Unwanted in school,

except by the people

who also still wouldn’t give

a shit if it fell out of

the sky in front of them.

Every beat of my heart

or flicker of my mind

disgusted me.

I was a stain on a

ceiling, stared

at with noses turned in


I waited.

For the day someone

would come

and take a ladder and

some chalky white paint.

A few swipes, and the

ugly water spot that

was me

would be gone.





One night I lay in bed.

Nails bitten to the quick.

White marks like a

bloody chain link fence on my skin.

Pulse throbbing in my head,

diluted by cheap vodka.

And I thought;


Maybe now I’ve got a reason

maybe now I deserve

the kicks the swears

the degradation

the slurs

the grabs and assumptions.

I had labels.

More labels than a

Costco box of canned soup

I had labels.


as I squeezed my eyes

shut and rolled onto

my side, I let myself believe

I could be something.




Three years later.

I realize that failure

is just a color of a crayon

and you choose

what you’re going to draw.

I realize

that true friends

take a piece of you when

they go,

and somehow it doesn’t break you.

I realize that some

pain is worth it.

Like the pain of letting go

or taking in;

the pain of callused

fingertips and

swollen eyes;

the pain that comes,

on a threshold,

a place to be

crossed in times of true

change and reluctant, yes,

but magnificent opportunity.




Not everyone finds life

packaged on their doorstep

amongst junk mail and stray leaves.

Some of us have to

lock the door behind us

and start digging,

collecting dirt on our skin

like a tan

and learning to not look


Because if you look


sweet Eurydice may just

be a puff of smoke

or a thirsty mirage.

So keep moving.

Keep fighting.

Keep struggling

to be on top with all the others

who said

“ I can.”

“ I will.”

“ I want.”

“ I am.”

Because I know

that I don’t

belong anywhere

other than right

where I want to be.



This poem is about: 



is anyone

out there



This is my story. How I got where I am today. This is my path to poetry.

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