Karma

Your world was pulled out from under you.
Died in a car accident off the “K” Street overpass.
What a shame that a boy had to die and you still don’t realize what it is that you do that hurts us into hatred.
We are not the reincarnation of those kids who died.
We are not your second chance to fuck it up.
I am not my mother.
You were not the womb that hugged my fetus for nine months-
That 14-year-old stomach intense apologizing for the sickly love that made me…
The sickly love that would break me.
You were spiteful in your fostering grandparenthood,
Bathing my youth in ice cubes,
Then drying me off in dollar bills…so that your hands would never have to touch me…
And every time I shivered, I got slapped with a bill screaming double time,
With interest, for the lack of gratitude that I never fail to provide.
I owe you this disease back:
A viral reconstruction of the cum shot you made me swallow,
Before my life was flipped around,
Spread open wide, and gang banged by the biggest tragic shafts;
After you became the actress-
The type-cast-two-faced evil villain…
Basking in your delusional illusions-
The practice made perfect expert at impromptu,
Believing your own reinvented memories;
Crying genuine Visine tears.
I owe you all the ill-ass-backwards empathy you gave me as a child,
The lollipop pillow pacifier, double dipped in anthrax:
My sweetened slow death suffocation that I lived in like a hospice-
Or my mothers overcrowded casket, with a straw…
Your social high society pity plan to murder me with the suicide that Dr. Karma prescribed that pain you claimed, even though it came before you;
The unnecessary pawn shop pink slip that can only be paid back in abuses.
I owe you back all your relentlessness, for all the love you kept yourself from feeling.
I owe you reciprocated hatred for every time you looked at me, calling me by my mothers name, still believing I was her.
For every time you dangled foster care in my young, lonely and starved face-
Like a warm meal, teasing me with the threat of a way out that you would never let me take.
I owe you an about face for every time I should have turned away from your fist, from your anger, from your spite…from the unhappiness you bred and took out on me when we all became exhausted from our collective karmic concussions.
We were so wrapped up in each other that we allowed ourselves to be laid to rest collectively; cramped together like sardines inside this box of blame…
Leaving only enough room for you to shake a proverbial finger at me after I flip you my middle payments-
Two for the price of one…a clearance rack sale that saves me the breath of having to speak “fuck you.”
Fuck you for every thought that you let pass through your head that said I would never amount to anything,
For every time you said you’d never help,
Two more for every time you help out your hand two inches short of helping me…so that nobody would know that you: were the bad guy.
But, what goes around, comes back around again,
And one day you’ll find that the hand you held-
Was actually holding yours.
And I’m sure you’ll find that
Karma
Will always return to give you back all the “good times” you sold your life for.
And when you’re old and lonely and more banged up than my Pa’s screen door…
You’ll know what it feels like to freeze for reparation
And starve for love,
And live, like dead.
Falling apart as you’re breaking from from the cracks inside your wrinkled script,
You’ll be a mosaic in reverse
When I water down my cut off my Scotch Tape reaches that keep your act together
And rip the audience away.
Someday you’ll know what I felt like as a child-
Living down antediluvian confusions;
Apologizing for faults that were not mine.
And even worse yet,
Someday you’ll know how incredibly deep the breathing bleeds inside your lungs,
And the insane sting of sacrificial splinters that numb your fingers
When you’re scratching against the cheap wooden casket lid,
When you’re still alive, with a heart, suffocating in a grave-
Screaming dog pound puppy hope, unable to articulate in words,
The plea I’ve plead, to resurrect me from the grave that my childhood was tied inside by the ropes of your nightmares.
Because the heart of that child has scratched through that buried box,
Apologized for crimes that someone else committed
And solicited the acceptance of so many dolled out abuses-
Just to be of use.

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Doses of Suicide

You bury your face into my neck like the groove of my clavicle was designed for your head. Your lips travel the distance to mine and you slip me your tongue like a venomous snake bite. My lips are paralyzed, stuck to yours for a split second. Hugging to the crackle of clove cigarettes, I keep you near, liquefy my words, and breastfeed your poison back to you.

For three years I’ve swallowed down desire: your words tainted with land mines. I only write because my tongue has been tucked away in a secret spot, because I’ve tucked away the hopes of finding someone else whose kisses can wash away yours.

Don’t tell me time will work things out because I’ve sacrificed enough already. See, this love has an expiration date, and honey, its gone sour. What’s in me will make you sick to know that I can play these games too.

If you l only knew, you’d quit me; take those lips and walk away. Your land mines are just nicks from a rough shave because my three solid years of dedication have taught me to split the atom with my pen…cultivate the biowarfare within; wrap my broken heart in a poem and mail it to you in a letter like a pretty packaged bomb.

My eyes are needles under your skin, in your veins, feeding you all the heroine you never wanted to look at…much less try. Yeah, that’s heroinE, with an ‘e.’ The heroin, the heroine, the opium, blended with the HERO, in mE. Baby, I’m a drug; suicide, in doses…a mere addiction if you’re strong.

So watch out with those kisses, ’cause I know what Janis was talkin’ about when she said, “take it.” But I’m only gonna warn you once: you make think you’re stealin’ my heart ’cause “it makes you feel good,” but if you take too much…this love can kill you.

Pretty

Her 14-year-old skin hung tight around my fetal curves, holding all of my innocence in the loss of hers. Not all the crayons in this box are pretty. That newly pubescent body holding me so tight I stretch marked it with the brand of my dwelling. She really loved me like she could never love anybody else; the fruit of the dogged pursuit of a statutory rapist. Let me tell you again, not all the crayons in this box are pretty.

I was ripped from that birth canal with a force I never deserved. I could have lived forever in that young, naïve, child’s frame that allowed a predator to become the only father that I would ever get to have. See, not all the crayons in this box are pretty.

She beat and used me. He spread my legs and abused me. She was all I ever wanted I a friend, because we grew up together; but she thought she knew it all, and he was in and out of prison all of the days of my life. I told you, not all the crayons in this box are pretty.

I only really ever talked to her when she was high. Whoa. Did I say, not all the crayons in this box are pretty? Well, she died of AIDS and he got life, and I lost the only parents I’ll ever have to love with a love that is so unconditional it stings; because I learned early on that you have to love the ugly too…because, not all the crayons in this box are pretty.

Resurrection

For 30 years, I have fought you about as successfully as one side of Velcro can fight its other half. I scream with every pull as though it hurts to prove us apart, when maybe that’s not meant to be.

Each year I try to find the me that’s not you, and the you that’s not me; which has brought me here. You are now longer gone than you were in my life, and I am older than you were when you died…and still I can’t get the fucking Velcro apart!

The more I find, the more I learn, you were only trying to be the person I have unknowingly become –

The in your face decolonizing, educated, traveler; the queer poet, the mother who did the right thing, even though it was the hardest, the rough and tumble smart girl in the room. The one one who got out. The surprise.

It’s taken me 30 years of searching, 15 of interviews, buckets of tears, loads of sheets and laundry, binders and journals, crushed hearts hanging from the sleeves of every shirt I’ve ever worn, and a consciousness that has carried me through it all to survive without your body, only to realize I never should have tried to rip you apart from me to begin with.

Thank you for carrying me inside myself even when I didn’t know you were there. Thank you for being the spirit inside of me, guiding me, my choices, my travels, my poetry. Thank you. 

And for every day you will never have, I will live the rest of mine for you, for me, for us…see the world for both of us, stitch the Velcro back together and never mind when someone asks, “How’s your mom?”

She’s here…inside me, locked deep inside my heart, living the life she always wanted, but could never give herself.