these are my letters
to myself.

Message to Readers

this poem is complicated.


January 7, 2019



woman clutches her hands,
the broken fingernails,
knife wounds,
knife words,
bitch and whore and slut.
are carved on her arms,
or on the heart?

i am rot. i am the spoil.

man didn’t mean to
hurt her like that.
not this time,
or the last time,
or the sixth time.
he is crying upstairs,
wet and naked in bed.
the alcoholic, don’t you know?
the melancholic, won’t you know?
she wouldn’t stop screaming
so he raised the fists,
knuckles aren’t sharp
he thinks.
she is weeping,
split open on the floor.
there is no blood,
there is no blood,
this time.

this time -

she scrubs the floor,
feeling the space on her shoulder.
where he kissed her,
where he held her,
where he snapped the bone.
he rubs his eyes,
seeing his father,
phantom faced.
mother is gone, out the door.
no creak, just a silent roar.
little sister by his side.

should she leave him, all alone?

there is a car, the telephone.
the world is quiet, outside.
but she has no money,
she has no job,
and there’s olive oil on the floor.

what have you done wrong?


See History
  • January 7, 2019 - 7:55am (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

  • a sprig of pink

    oooh, a beautiful retelling of the dysfunctional couple. a story told many times before, but never like this.

    over 1 year ago
  • Oscar_Locke

    Thanks, @Ruthh !

    over 1 year ago
  • Ruthh

    This is so haunting and beautifully written !!

    over 1 year ago