“It’s been a while,” she says quietly, her fingers running over the scars on my arm. Like she can see my past and future, like palm reading. I wonder, briefly, how that would sound: You have lived a hard life, the fortune teller might say. This one indicates you will lead a long life. And I would think, no, it …
Do not text your ex.
Do not text your crush.
Do not check her twitter.
Do not check his facebook.
Do not cut your hair.
Do not paint your bathroom.
Do not eat that entire bag of chips.
And while we’re at it,
Do not get on the scale.
Do not Google “chest pains.”
Do not bite your nails.
Do not disassemble the vacuum.
Do not sleep all day.
Get out of bed.
Get off your phone.
Do not text them.
Make your best “yes!” for the New Year. – mh clay
I lift my eyes from my work as a light moves across the living room—the sun glinting off her windshield as she approaches the house. My thoughts are drowned out by the muted crackle of tires slowing their roll against the road. Apprehension turns to dread, turns to defeat, as the garage door opens and the whole house hums. Her …
Squeeze the life
From everything I hold
Duck the system
And without remorse
Making it that much
Not to catch the
Duck my boss
For making me
Deal with all this ducking bullshit with
Duck, indeed! – mh clay
It feels like it should be raining. I can’t quite explain why. In novels and films, there would be a constant pattering against my windows. Shadows would be long and strange. Maybe the rain is a baptism, maybe it’s the tears the protagonist won’t cry. If it was an artsy film, there would be no musical score to emphasize how …
“If you can hide it,
You don’t belong here.”
I feel adrift,
For a love I can’t control.
I can’t control my
Any more than you can control
But I get it.
Pain and Ostracization
That bind you.
Loneliness and Isolation
There’s a thought – what’s (who’s) behind those actions you claim to abhor? What is Empathy? – mh clay
I loved you once.
I craved your laugh,
Your touch, once.
I saved up for engagement rings.
I thought you were brilliant, once.
I thought you could light up any room.
I thought I was so lucky, once,
To have the honor of doing your
I felt safe, once.
I felt chosen.
I felt seen.
I believed you were everything, once.
I believed you would never hurt me.
I believed we could be forever.
And, once we were done,
I even fell for your lies again.
I thought I was the bad guy.
I thought I owed you more.
I felt sick,
I felt dirty.
I believed that I’d ruined your life.
I believed that I was ugly,
Once upon a time
I still loved you.
But never again.
When once is too many (do for yourselves, dudes). – mh clay
It’s easy to forget
How I got here.
I look back at the
I’ve left in my wake and
All of the bridges
That I set aflame on my way to this
Haven. I mourn
Because those bridges supported me,
At some point.
And what a monster I must be
To have hurt so many
And still live in peace.
But then I remember the scars.
Splinters that jabbed my palms,
Uneven boards that tripped me,
And the constant fear of being
Allowed to fall.
Those bridges hadn’t supported me.
I survived them.
And I have to remember that I did not
Out of malice. I burned them,
So that I would not look back.
I was not granted this sanctuary.
I earned it.
Sometimes, a burned bridge is best. – mh clay
I’m not sure how to be
What should I do
With my hands,
These clumsy creators
Who do me no favors tonight?
Where am I
Supposed to look?
Or should I just close my eyes?
I need you
To tell me what to do
With this body
That has never been mine.
Seeking an out-of-body experience, body bound. – mh clay
You own nothing.
Those aren’t your toys. I bought them.
Even your clothes, your furniture.
I provided them for you, you do not own them.
But if you don’t clean your room, I will
Take a Big Black Garbage Bag and throw away
Every toy, every dress that isn’t on a hanger.
These are my things, not yours.
Your college says I don’t have access to your grades,
Because you’re nineteen, and I don’t pay your tuition.
Don’t tell me it’s none of my business. That’s bullshit.
I am your parent. That makes it my business. I pay
The insurance on your car, and the title is in my name.
You won’t be going on that road trip, unless
You bring me your transcripts, signed by each of your professors.
So long as you live under my roof,
You are not entitled to privacy.
I’m not obligated to help you
In any way.
You decided to leave
And go play house.
That was your decision. You’re on your own now,
Mommy and Daddy don’t have to bail you out.
You wanted your independence.
Sink or swim.
Just don’t expect anything from me.
And why don’t you ever call?
editors note: Our conscientious co-dependence. You need to (we need you) no need to, needs must, need not… – mh clay
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