10 Poems in 20 Minutes (Day Twelve)

Day twelve? I must have miscounted.

10 Poems in 20 Minutes
Day 12

Poem 1:
Coercion breeds hatred and self-loathing
She didn’t ask
She told
I want to stand in the rain to wash myself off from this taint
This degradation of being told what to do

Poem 2:
One day, some day, I’ll be whole, fresh, and new
Shiny and sparkly
I’ll be glitter and trumpets
Smiles and eye crinkles and true
Not this sticky

Poem 3:
I ate lunch with fat people
Who were conscious about what they ate
Because I could see them
Not alone
They watched to see how much was left on the other’s plates
I’ve never felt small in comparison
And I hate that I felt good for being less fat
I left the extra piece of bacon on my plate

Poem 4:
Damn cut doesn’t heal on my inside middle finger
So I wash it
And dry it
And package it with Vaseline
The band-aid wraps around
I hold myself in that way
Plastic skin colored adhesive – bound up in blue boxes marked for healing
Only my skin doesn’t get me any extra padding

Poem 5:
Beige, my greyhound lounges all across the carpeted floor
I have to lunge to get past her
Each time I stop to make sure her ribs move
I wait an extra second to check
I don’t show the same nicety to homeless people on the street

Poem 6:
When I feel bad for laughing
Which is every time I smile
I wonder
How far have I fallen that I have to catch myself from smiling?
My teeth stay behind guarded lips behind a hand behind my hair

Poem 7:
I told myself I couldn’t sleep
So I read instead, and finished the book
The whole 334 pages
Hoping with each clock glance I’d be ready for sleep
I didn’t want to be awake today
So I made myself a cup of sleepy brain

Poem 8:
I was so civil at lunch that it accidentally carried over to the car ride home
Glum quietness forgotten with the rush of personal interaction
All it takes to make me happy

Poem 9:
My high letters have nothing to do with my mother
She brings me self-shame
It was my father
Who scared the word of God into me if I threw away any semblance of improvement
Building upon what he expected I did what I was told
And now I cry for not moving any blocks
All my alphabet squares rest on the ground spelling out wisps of misery
Enough shame to build a house on
Founded in caring

Poem 10:
Every once in a flicker
I see this semblance of high thought in this bulk sitting next to me
Hoping for a moment that he will think about being a good man
A good man for him

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