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.
he had a good taste in music,
he had a good laugh, too.
i fought to hear it
more often than not.
i remember that day
he never laughed
i made an internal promise
to force it out of him.
it is as healthy to laugh as it is to cry,
but there has to be a balance between the two.
Excuse me, you can’t be here—
in recent weeks
i have become a record broken.
skipping on the same beat.
there is some song,
stuck in my head.
some magical way to rid myself of this grief.
my chest burns with sorrow in a way
i cannot extinguish.
believe me, i’ve tried.
You have no right to talk about him—
i have nothing else to think on
than his untimely passing
from my life.
you held me in your arms
that night i cried without reason.
i have several reasons now,
several words i’d like to
but cannot manage to.
you were so gentle, so—
And yet you smothered him to death!
i am standing at your door,
begging for entrance,
for three months now.
at some point you shoved me out,
sent me away,
and put yourself under lock and key.
and i— stricken with love,
i am standing at your door,
knocking until my hands are numb,
until my knuckles
i am not sure why
i cannot leave.
i am not sure whether it is
the baggage i have left inside,
my final pack of cigarettes
sitting on your kitchen counter,
or the ages and ages
i have spent
dreaming of your living room.
when you first welcomed me in,
everything was so warm.
but it’s mid-February now,
i am stuck outside,
from the premises
and my feet
in my shoes.
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.
in hospitals, they don’t give you pens.
i hate the impermanence of writing
as if everything
could just be erased. forgotten.
i am used to scratching things out,
until the paper
AN ODE TO MY DEAD GOD.
of existence, or, a litany
of Reasons To Exist,
my dead God and i
sit in conversation.
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.
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
my dead God relents.
my hand is hurting.
this poem is over.
i bet you wanted a happier ending.
ask my dead God.