Our kitchen sink was filled with bloody handcuffs.
I mean tomato juice.
From the vines that my mom grew in our backyard and the tomatoes my brother and I would pluck
And hurl at the roof of the gazebo.
They’d splat and jolt their way down the slope, mushy and perfectly funny.
My stairway was the one my brother fell down, after he was kicked.
I mean to say the sweeping spiral was padded in soft carpet
perfect for running toes on Christmas morning
And the feeling of flight as your mind lifted with possibility of a million glittering packages
Just before you rounded the bend.
My living room was for rocking on my haunches.
Because I had turned invisible.
Because he could not hear me see me feel me as inhabiting that word “daughter”
Who is a fragile thing, who shall be protected, who is a crying thing, to whom he should be gentle.
But daughter evanesced into object to hurl barbs at
An empty gunslinging
A desperate automated quickdraw drawing on anger so unquenchable it’s like it didn’t exist.
Nothing to draw on.
No spaghetti dinners in the living room
No Christmas tree herding and frosted paned windows looking out on the world of lights like they were promising
My house was not promising.
Inside and out hands on both sides of the pane
It was a bear trap.
And the stranger stalking the downstairs was the steel sharp teeth.
I didn’t trust him when I hugged him
I hadn’t for a while.
And I wonder exactly when love left and emptied me.
The two houses made it more disparate,
two faces to a coin
But my brain tried in vain to flip over
And exist without the other side.
As it happens
When you try to rip yourself in half and purge every other week of your memory
Suck every other word of its truth like a pomegranate seed between your teeth
You get a tongue that is tired of probing.
You are left with a girl who is tired of remembering
And tired of thinking
And bleeding from the strings of the ripped flesh of each piece.