“Name your torture,”
one of them said
I wanted an orchard
but I swallowed the vodka
he handed me

I don’t believe in simplicity
or explaining the meaning behind things
it’s why I write poetry
I say with a hint of clarity.
He fingers my locket,
I recoil in panic.
I choose the silence,
complicity over barreling ascension
every time I meet one I might
I had a mission to destroy my darkness,
but darkness has a way of consuming
all it follows.
I spent the winter indoors;
started to explore and name every puncture:
early childhood rape,
early childhood confessional
in bad dreams and pissed sheets,
early childhood neglect without a male
role model or a safe space to yell about it,
early childhood sibling who later hung himself with
vodka ropes, and a funeral attended by
no one. I swirl my glass,
listen to the chunks of ice beat me up
There are only two sentences I’m ever
after: birth,
and subsequent fatality.
I do a quick twirl on the way to his bathroom
to show off my stinging tail
so he understands his options.

I asked him to stay awhile
while I calmed my own poltergeist
and he just wanted to hold hands
and watch me cry without connivance,
without adding words to delusion
alluding in silence
that I don’t need the completion.
I need the space to see the illusions I created are
in dire need of straightening before my ire turns to
rueful violence,
turns to self-asphyxiation,
turns to creeping vines of fear threatening
to bind the whole garden and
complacent nooses I wear boastfully
as if the greatest power comes from murdering
yourself in front of audiences
before the muses do.

My madness looms sometimes;
a distant thunder that never sparks but
erupts into sudden forest fire,
lightning strikes right behind me
so you always know how to find me.
I only hear voices when they’re booming
so God usually delivers things in a way I hate
to get me to listen, breathe,
cut my own intestines from the ceiling
where I hang out most days.
God demands I stay,
but I let go of his hand and
turn to the poor boy to say:

“Well, if you’re not going to kill me or fuck me,
what are you even doing here



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