April (exseraphim) wrote,
April
exseraphim

Survival

I light a cigarette on the stove
tie my hair in a knot
fasten silver loops to my ears
make coffee
lace my feet into thick black boots

This is how I get through the day
fires that make breathing harder
and the sunsets more beautiful

Mornings I curl into my lover's stomach
let him coax me awake with kisses

When I feel brave
I imagine growing old with him
a lifetime of mornings being licked awake
like a kitten

When I'm scared
I see myself at nineteen
think from Dexatrim and Slimfast
in a blue nylon dress from St. Vincent de Paul's
lips waxed the color of eggplant skin

talking to cut carnations
and the dog
because they have the sense not to answer

I see myself in a hospital
a pale mummy wrapped in sheets that smell of bleach
leaning on the TV stand to get to the bathroom

I remember a friend
who swallowed blue pills with cheap whiskey
but wouldn't let her lover hold her

I finger a scar on my head
where hair won't grow
bite my nails
phone friends to make sure they're all still there

I count food stamps
plan the soup
curse the small pains in the small of my back
make a mask of hairspray and lipstick
Yesterday I counted five delicate orange flowers
growing from the gutter

I am still the child
who watched a family of black ants
march up the side of the new Sears refrigerator
when I could have been out with the other kids
beating a fence with a stick
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