astrobhbe

Australia

there's something exhilarating about having a character's fate rest in your hands

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what they did wrong

July 31, 2019

FREE WRITING

11
my mother made me 
with her hands, kneeled on
the bedroom floor
with strips of paper and shards
of glass, with broken
promises and flaming mistakes,
she took a glue stick
and pasted each regret together,
i am a collage of
ugly things. some nights
i stand before
a mirror in the dark
and pull the skin back from
my mouth. my teeth are made
out of the lies
my father would tell my mother
to keep her quiet. he
left a long time ago,
something about an open window
and a lonely driveway,
at least now he doesn't have to try
to pretend that he doesn't want to
strangle us. maybe i should
feel sorry, but i'm the one with
the plaster and the
cardboard, struggling to fill
the holes in the walls that his fists
left. maybe i should
go back to the kitchen floor
and find the big pryers, so i can
pull out my teeth. maybe
that way a girl will kiss me.
i think my mother
is trying to make another sin,
like me. some days
i find her with her knee caps
buried in the spaces
between the floorboards, the palms
of her hands wailing.
i think my mother is a whale
singing through its split stomach,  
my mother is a warship,
i think my father is a harpoon, 
a black rock
jutting from the sea. or maybe
my mother is a swarm
of plankton and my father
is a whale, or maybe he is a hollow
chest echoing with the
memory of music, my mother is
the memory of music.
some nights i think he might  
be coming back, but
his footsteps sound a lot like
gunshots, so i get them
confused. and some nights i think
my mother might be crying,
but that might be sirens.
maybe it's both.
most nights, i tuck  
my fingers into my mouth
and count my teeth.
i wonder if my father will ever be
forgiven, i wonder if
he deserves to be. maybe if
my father is forgiven,
my teeth will stop being his lies.
for now, though, i
push my fingertips against
my tongue and hope
that my own mouth doesn't  
eat me in my sleep.

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4 Comments
  • Anha

    rereading this again; jokes on me for forgetting to like and bookmark and just going straight to reviewing. again, this piece is stellar.


    about 1 year ago
  • R.j.Elsewhere

    the only thing good in math class today wes reading this


    over 1 year ago
  • rainandsonder

    wow! this is an incredible piece. it tugs at your heartstrings and uses figurative language in such a devastatingly gorgeous way. this is one of those poems that you don't read, you feel.


    over 1 year ago
  • ElinaGailite

    This is really amazing. I love, love, LOVE this. So truthful and, yet, so painful and heartbreaking.


    over 1 year ago