Seaming

My CNF piece for a literary mag (Philadelphia Stories) is being republished for their 15th anniversary! if you’re in the philly or NJ area, you can get the mag for free! TW for mental health, abuse, suicide mention. take care of yourselves, lovelies 🥰

The piece is called Seaming, and is in equal parts a reflection of my complicated relationship with mental illness and my complicated relationship with my mother.

You can read it here. Please comment below if you have any thoughts on the piece! I’d love to know what you think.

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and in the dark we whisper things we’d never say in daylight, we sit on the porch and talk about the worst parts of ourselves and it feels so fluid and freeing.

im still here, i think. im still here and seeking that Great Big Romance ive wanted since i was a child. faced with it, i shied away, i broke my own heart before i could give you the chance.

see— this is what i do. this is how i am. a spitfire, an emotional sponge, scaring off future lovers and clinging to future abusers.

you are not the first, you will not be the last. this is a cycle doomed to repeat, over and over again. i am aching for something to heal me, but you can’t go around making doctors out of people who want nothing to do with sewing sutures upon wounds you created yourself.

the message is this: the message is received. i tie together the pieces ive lost in the explosion, sneak into your house to take back my heart, and i move on.

on to the next loss ill orchestrate.

#METHREE

my relationship with my body is complicated and constantly fluctuating. consider this my first step toward autonomy and reclamation. here is a poem about it (tw for sexual assault):

#METHREE

1.

you’re standing in the middle of a corn field and a man tells you to scream before it’s over. you’re running out of time, sweat piles on top of your body, and you want to scream, want to      please him,

do anything           to      please him,

but you can’t.

2.

your mother beats at you, your father joins in. they are molding you into a quieter shape, a better shape. one they can show to their friends, say look at our good and well behaved child.

look how well         she welcomes         abuse.

3.

you blink twice when you swear, the words
are foreign   in         your mouth,
it makes you      uncomfortable           to think about.
raised to be prim, proper and polite with a capital P.
raised
to be quiet.

4.

afraid of your own body, you sold it to the first man
who looked at you with lust. it was taken from you
at an early age, nonetheless,
what’s a stranger’s piece inside of you            (drunken and crying)
compared to you, a preteen
(drunken and crying)?
after he finishes, he tells you that you smell like his ex girlfriend, asks if he could call you Christine,
and hold you      as if       You           were her?

5.

you’re bleeding from your lip, you’ve been biting it to keep your lessons from your childhood.

6.

you gave yourself different names in bed,
moaned when they touched You,
even when it felt like               nothing.

7.

you don’t have a word for what he does to You, but he fucks you like he means it, really         means it,
and reminds you you’re his whore.
it feels right with his hands around your neck,
because they’ve always
held their hands
around your neck.

8.

la petite mort, not as you would understand the expression
“the brief loss
or weakening
of consciousness
specifically to
the sensation
of orgasm”

but a little death nonetheless.

9.

your grandmother gives you two pieces of advice:
one— a man should know you neck up, but never neck        Down. fact.
two— a man should always believe he was your second Ever. fact.
you become an actor, a porn star,
script says:         fuck me like              you mean      it,
script says:          fuck my brains out,
script says:          fuck me til      i can’t      walk   straight.
script says:        (with rising feeling)
hurt me, hurt me, hurt me!
you cave in, bury the truth under fucking and fucking           and fucking and fucking—
left your body just as they entered it.

10.

there’s different types of crazy—five.
the emotionally unstable are better in bed.
you don’t admit to being all five types.
men don’t want to hear this when you’re naked,
they want to hear you moan, to lick the sweat
off of your breasts and that they’re the second
to ever                  fill you.
fact.

11.

you don’t have a word for what he does to you, but he’s given you a word for yourself: monster. you deserve it, and you’ve always deserved it.

12.

gas lights the fireplace and you’re burning, twenty one and burning, always burning. this hell you’ve created by dating the architect who lives in his car.

13.

you’re nineteen, can’t walk straight.
a man with ice blue eyes leads you
into a bathroom
as you dig your heels
into the grooved hardwood floor, sticky with spilled alcohol.
nervous laughter spills from you
as he forces you to your knees
and puts himself inside of you,
so that you don’t really say no,
but n-umpf.
you tell your sister and she says
men are disgusting,
but you never speak of it again.

14.

you’re twenty one,
in a relationship with another, you say no,
but your pants are off
and this time,
he’s the one laughing.
your partner
stops speaking to you
for 24 hours
for allowing this to happen.

15.

you’re twenty two,
in a new relationship.
his eyes are green, you call him broccoli. he stops when you leave.
he kisses only after asking.
still, you stop almost always.
say im ruined almost always.
he holds you, almost always
for the       hundredth time.

16.

you don’t swear. you don’t say no. you lay still and think of England.

17.

you’re standing in a cornfield and the man from before is still telling you to scream like you mean it. you scream, but no noise comes out this time. it may be due to his hands around your neck, or they’re yours, and they’ve always been yours.

18.

how can you write about fucking,
—yes fucking, not sex, not making love—
when you can’t even fuck your lover
like you        mean it?
when you can’t even fuck them
without crying?

an ode to my dead god

A PREFACE:
in hospitals, they don’t give you pens. 
                                                   just pencils. 
i hate the impermanence of writing
                                                   in pencil. 
                               as if everything 
could just be erased. forgotten. 
           i am used to scratching things out, 
angrily, 
                        until the paper 
rips. 

AN ODE TO MY DEAD GOD.

buoyed by
a catalogue
of existence, or, a litany
of Reasons To Exist,
my dead God and i
sit in conversation.

why?

i don’t need to say more,
God hears the rest before i speak it.
my dead God says nothing in return.
as if i should be grateful i was
caught red-handed, tears unshed
at my non-funeral.

i hate this pencil. it’s too small and
not nearly sharp enough.
there is no elegance in writing
with a pencil,
the words are thick and drunk,
blurring or slurring together.
i miss the days when they were
filled with lead, not graphite,
but thanks to the Herculean efforts
of one man i cannot hope
to poison myself.

why?

my dead God asked if i could stop
calling them my dead God.
i say i’ll stop when their people
stop using their name
to justify the death of my people.

when God stops being the reason
people can’t have rights.

when God steps in to stop
all this nonsense
happening today.

my dead God relents.

why?

my hand is hurting.
this poem is over.
i bet you wanted a happier ending.
ask my dead God.

hello!

i have been very busy working on several collections of poetry at once.

while, to you, it may seem like i’ve simply disappeared you’ll be pleased to learn today that it is quite the contrary!

my newest collection of poetry, forget-me-not, will be available for purchase on February 15 2019. you can pre-order it (for Kindle) on Amazon. or, you could enter the GIVEAWAY i’m hosting on goodreads. either way, be sure to add it to your shelves here. 

FORGET-ME-NOT: Kara Petrovic reflects on a single relationship in their life, and invites the reader to follow along their journey: from falling at first sight, to seeing this person’s true colours reveal themselves before their very eyes. Petrovic paints the picture of pain and betrayal that comes with realizing one is being abused, or in a toxic relationship, and likewise the desperation we feel while we hold onto vehement denial.

best,

kara

she. [a series]

i.

she
with sunshine
in her hair
and the ocean
in her eyes,
i tasted
her strawberry coated lips
(that the sun had grown
for me)

ii.
she
with blue eyes
i’ve been seeing
for a long time,

fair hair
and a
wry smile,

taller than me
by some,
but that’s not difficult—
at 5’1″
i barely scream
height.

an eternity of distance
between us,
yet still
she
manages to be
the other side of my coin.

iii.
i am
coca-cola lips
—syrupy energy—
long sleeved
black sweaters
and ripped jeans

she is
summer sweat
—somehow sweet—
white sundresses
and sandals

we are
unabashed laughter,
shameless kisses
with our pinkies wrapped
these promises
will never
be broken

…more to come…

 

the last ten days of august.

what could empty you?

          in the weight
of our divines
the un    thinking
deep within us
strokes of pure spirit
      our fleeting fall

labour — the early war;
                 original sin
in between the earth and sky
            is the shade
            of the galaxy
why limit sorrow?
why blank the source?
             conquered,
             we go on
and put life first

ignore the    remnant artifacts
                      merciless undoings
turned pools,
                      nudge    of time
ordinary notes of care
unleashed poisons
etched
into skin

history’s suitor to time,
         shards,
                      debris
remember   remember
           remember
the blank silence echoing

days go on,
        fewer,
               sleep escaping
crying out
                   it was a home.

cursed nights into mornings,
         who can make of this?
what once was theirs,
          whatever is left?

emptied, murdered, obliterated
             an annihilation
of the ego
              the anguish,
                     the anguish

eyes still seeing last touch
feeling
ancient alone abandoned
what is a year
              a month
               a decade
but a moment?

—lost and burned
            futile devices,
fervour’s writing

mailed to the void

and the sea?
        the sea?

the saltwater dead, my love,
the saltwater dead

the last great epitaph
of our love:
           i am nobody
           i am nobody
           and you
           are gone

oh, August, a season deceased,
tell me again
the hieroglyph
of your name

3AM Nov 17th

It’s 3AM and you’re buying groceries.

You just so happened to fall in love with the girl who loved grocery stores, and in the fallout where the lines were drawn somehow she earned the right to each and every major franchise. The damn girl managed to leave her essence in every single one, and you can’t bear the risk of running into her and pretending everything is normal, dandy, peachy-keen. Somehow you manage to still look your best, though. Just in case.

It’s 3AM and you’re buying groceries.

Like usual your eyes sit on the back of your head, sensitive to every stare, from the few other poor souls who chose the same lifestyle.

You stare longer than you need to at the options for toilet paper, trying your best to forget how it was always your turn but she ended up buying them anyway.

It’s 3AM and you’re buying groceries, you remind yourself.

It has been 5 months and some change since you were together.

5 months and some change since you stopped picking up a sweat every time you were out together in public. She was never like that. It didn’t matter to her what others thought, her hand would always graze yours with a careless but deep love while yours twitched. Then again, she never sat in the closet for five years too long while the rest of the world she knew screamed ‘dyke’ at her. She touched you without a marred heart, without fear.

It’s 3AM and you’re buying groceries.

After a certain time the fluorescent light becomes a foreign entity and the place you’ve been existing in ceases to be and you’re back in your bedroom holding her as she breaks and falls apart before bed. Her love made you feel a way you never had before, never accepted before this moment. While you sat hidden away praying to change, God sent her into your path to show you He is not those who claim to speak His words. In her you found peace, serenity in falling apart, a feeling like maybe you’ve been whole all along, maybe you were never broken in the first place.

But things end. Things end, like they always do. Suddenly your house is no longer a shared home, no longer filled with her harmonious laughter or the musical silence. You’d always found silence to be a lovely thing with her, but now it’s deafening.

It’s 4:03AM and you’re still staring at the toilet paper.

You finally decide on a pack and move on, thinking you’re the only person in the world who choked up while standing in the grocery store in the middle of the night. Your lungs are ripped from your chest, and you feel the need to sit down, but you can’t—you’re in a grocery store.