The Itsy Bitsy Suicide (Long Poem) Pt. I

When my grandmother abandoned me
on a Friday night, I was watching
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I was on the couch, the small loveseat my father
bought when he moved to Fishers–
It was our weekend together.
Friday, August 20th
2009.
I thought, I haven’t heard from her in awhile. I’ll
call
tomorrow.

My father, never one to push
me, shook me awake that night. Whispered.
Cried with me as he said she had a heart attack.
Her legs over the side of the bed. Small, fat body motionless.
God, I cried. Like my heart had burst. I had put all my dreams
into her, like she was my Easter Basket.

I remember
her touching my hair one Easter, saying
how thick and beautiful it was.

Right now, I can’t explain it. The anger and pain
for a woman I knew only five or so years. Mother loves to
say how terrible she was, how crazy, how…
the list goes on.
I want to forget the list. Tell me something good.
Tell me
tell me that time she made you tea, sewed your wedding dress.
Remember the soccer game, when I made brownies
and she was diabetic but
ate them anyway? Remember when we went to
Florida
Grandpa couldn’t drive well
so she had to? Remember when
on September 26th, 2007 I got
my period, and later you, me, and her
went to Target, bought a 7 dollar t-shirt?

I accidentally put the cardboard applicator in,
and we laughed, like you expect
the Golden Girls to
laugh. With their
bosoms, with their
shiny hair.

Tea Rose Nostalgia

As I remember his visage, tea roses leap from my stomach.
Medium-regulation haircut, coffee, like his stand-still eyes.
Callused, frank hands touch mine.
Like an evergreen, I shall be cut down by such hands.
They have killed, hardened, cracked, endured.
They will nourish and soften.
They will tickle his daughter’s tiny pink feet, through her slippers.
They will hold other hands.

He would tell me beautiful things, and I would tell him he was crazy
He’d ask why, and I’d say, “Smell the grassy, earthy air in the spring.
Taste the lilac and moss. Stand under the shade of an oak,
and then say to me there is a greater beauty.”

Oh, how I miss him!
Or… those pale pink roses leaping from my stomach.

This is Not a Super Depressing Parental Divorce Post. Well, actually…

I wrote part of this coming back from Texas two days ago.


Tuesday Evening, July 29th, 2014. Texas. 

I wish I could say I felt some great pain when my parents finalized their divorce early this week. But honestly, I feel nothing. I don’t. Feel. Anything. This isn’t a change. This is a pebble a kid threw into a great big lake. There are ripples, certainly, but does this pebble graze the fish? Does it wound the frog? No. It settles amongst the millions of other pebbles in that vast lake that is my life.

Perhaps I should reminisce about the time my parents were happy—the times they kissed and held hands and talked late into the night before going to bed. I do not remember this. I have never known a time my parents loved each other, or showed affection. My oldest memory is a fight. I never heard my mom say she had ever loved my dad until I was 17. I first saw their wedding photos six months ago. The album was nestled in between the gardening handbook and a bird index.

Thursday, 2 AM, July 31st, 2014. Indiana.

No. When I said I felt nothing, it wasn’t quite true. I was numb. I was awaiting the blow. But when Mom. Nate and I got home, we discovered that the papers were incomplete; therefore it isn’t finalized. They are the most ridiculous ‘married couple’ I’ve ever known. And the odd thing is that I had prepared for an obstacle, and I found myself relieved when it appeared. I do not want this to happen. I do not want this change. A part of me wants it to go on as before; the fights and the insults that hide the resentment and hurt. Perhaps I’m a sadomasochist…

When I was in middle school, my mother got me What A Girl Wants (VHS of course, because DVDs weren’t nearly as popular). In case you don’t know what it’s about:

Yeah, basically it’s the best teen movie ever.

I would watch this movie all the time, and crying, I’d think, “Why her and not me? Why does she get the happy ending? Where are my perfectly-in-love parents?” I mean, I would have loved the sexy British hunk, but that was not the priority when I was twelve.

Now, almost fourteen years after they separated, I still feel a twinge.

Wishes

I wish I could say
almost babies live special kinda lives
for awhile
the sun ain’t blowin’ up, she’s just mad
My mama will live forever
and my daddy will live for her
and my brother will just live
Wish it were true
that Jesus, God, and my lover loved me
victims were glorified for surviving
and the ‘glorified’ were more ashamed.
Wish I was not ashamed–
Swim against the fish that bolt from the jaws of conservatism only to
find themselves in the belly of a bigger fish.
Cry in front of a friend because my mouth is not made for words but puddles of passion.
Say I deserve better than a love triangle
between me him and Mary-Jane.
Say I am sorry and I am on my own.
 

Flowers

When I was young,
I would see flowers…
Dozens of flowers everywhere.
Lilacs, daisies, bluebells
And I would pick them
Joyously
Set them in my vase,
Wait for blossoms.
But those lilacs died, those
Daisies withered.
Bluebells fell away.

I grew up amongst pools of flowers
Hundreds of flowers everywhere.
Lavender, poppies, calla lilies
And I would put them by the hearth
To warm.
Wait for growth.
And there lavender wilted.
Poppies refused to glow.
Calla lilies turned dim.

I became a woman
in a field of flowers
Thousands of buds
Reaching for my arms
Simpering in excitement.
I put them away
In my bedside drawer
Thinking to tend to them later.
Yet by then
they had shriveled up
And become frail beings
Of their past form.

I took those roses out today
Asked them if they would
Like some water
Or food.
But they stood still,
Said nothing to me.
Because what rose
Would want an old flower like me?