Dear Alice

Your veins.

It’s supposed to be a curse.

Why, then, does everything seem more alive when you’re defective?  You shudder and wretch, and you make them cry blood, but you are so powerful.  I can’t touch that.  No one can touch you.  And you fight against the ones that played with your DNA, but you’re still so beautiful.

I will NEVER be what you are.

You thanked him for making you human, but you were never ordinary to begin with.  You’ve always been…defiant.  A red dress, a leather jacket to ward off the cold, but the chill is from the virus coursing through you.

I’ve never wanted to be so sick.

Can I be diseased like you?

Because I’m so broken, so easy to flatten and press into a cage.

The cage is frightened of you.

Tokyo or Suburbia, New York or sheets of ice.  Nothing can stop you.  You make massacre out of your chains, and you still sigh when he tells you it’s not over.  It may never be over, but why would you want it to desist?  You’re magnificent in motion.  I can’t stop thinking about you, replaying your grace.  And this writhing, seething jealousy is going to cannibalize me.  Because I’m not like you.  I’m nothing like you.  And I wish to darkness that I were.

Would you please just
would you please just
please just
infect me?

trap

Why do ghosts haunt?
Did you leave something behind?
Was it a shred of
remembrance
for a night too dark for words
and a desperation
too palpable to ignore?
Yours or mine?
I despise the trace you left

divide

If I lit a candle
on this sleepless night
would you wake?
There’s so much
I could tell you
if the words hadn’t been
stolen
The wind on the sill
whispered the steps
to a movement
that only you know
That only You’ve ever
known
Such that this glow
in the dark
might lead me to trip
Can’t this body
sprout wings
so that one day
I’d catch up
And before you
I would bow
and ask, finally,
“Would’st thou dance with me?”

how It is

Dearest Father,

I’m pretty sure you cheated.

Your heart stopped beating at two in the morning.  But that was the exact moment when everyone gained an hour.  You literally stole sixty minutes from life while on your deathbed.

I can laugh about it now.  But at 2/3:02 in the morning that day, I didn’t know what was happening.

I was wearing a dress shirt that belonged to you.  The vertical stripes were salmon-colored, but you thought it looked too much like pink.  Did you know that I still have the pajama pants I wore that night?  They’re faded and torn and the word “Knockout” is no longer legible on the butt, but I can’t seem to bring myself to get rid of them.

I ate pizza that night and watched “Friends,” though for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you which episode it was.  There’s a general consensus stating that it takes approximately 40 muscles to smile.  I’m sure my body laughed, but my heart didn’t.

Someone recently asked me this question: “What is your biggest mistake in life?”

I blinked, licked my lips, swallowed, and looked down at the table.  My reply was quiet, but definite: “Not telling my father I loved him the night he died.”  Pause.  Another swallow.  Sandpaper maybe.  “That was my greatest failure as a daughter.”

You would’ve been sixty-nine years old today.  And here I sit, in a stuffy apartment, miles away from a house full of memories with you, and I’m not sure if I feel comforted or just lonely.

I still think about you, you know.  Every day.  That might sound cliche, but I swear to you, it’s true.  Sometimes it’s silly things like giving a tailgating motorist a hard time the way you always did.  But it’s also bigger things, profound and so staggering that I don’t understand how I can remain standing when all I want to do is fall to my knees and weep with missing you.

I used to write you letters everyday.  They never made it to you; you were six feet too far.  At some point I stopped writing them because mother once told me that if I talked to you in my mind, you’d hear me.  Figured I wouldn’t waste the paper.

Still.  There’s something to be said for the empirical.  I know these keys won’t bring you back.  I know this box full of characters won’t bring you back.  I know remembering you today or any other day won’t bring you back.  Nothing I will do for the rest of my life will ever change the fact that you died.

But on the off-chance that you browse the world wide web when you’re not busy playing golf with St. Peter and all your siblings, know that I’m sorry.  I should’ve told you that I loved you.  It’s not enough that you knew on some omniscient level.  You fucking deserved to hear it.

I love you.  And I miss you.  And happy birthday.

I Remain,
your daughter

 golf-course-37a

thinking

Passivity
Useful
Or cowardly
Depends on the day
(and the years of refuse
circling the drain)
Is it bravery?
To take it in silence?
Or is it just
stupid?
It hurts like hell
the verbage, the blows
the sickening crunch of realization
that I am NOT rubber
nor are you glue
We are both flesh
as much as I hate to
have something in common
So it’s just pain
at the end of the day
I understand now why you do it
Because you’re addicted
to addiction
to distraction
from the truth
You. are. not. a. worthwhile. person.
How’s that for passive.

wait your turn

you’ll need a ticket
there’s quite a line
each one’s got a different complaint
“cold” “monster” “how could you”
“liar” “not good enough” “who are you”
so much saliva goes into
spitting insults
doesn’t your mouth
ever get dry?
no, I bet you always have
a pocketful of lozenges
all labeled with
different complaints
i wonder if you’ll realize
that gavel is no more
than a hacking ax
and you’re no glorified queen
no tamer of dragons
but a mother, oh yes
with dried up teats and
grudges to keep you
company