10 Poems in 20 Minutes (3-19)

4:03 p.m.

1:
I prided myself today.
On me.
On the fact that, as of now,
I haven’t killed myself yet.
I survived me.
I’ve survived me for years,
I’ll be ok, I’ll keep being ok,
Ok here in my head,
With just me,
If I’ve lasted this long.

2:
We’re going to have to crate her.
The red fawn beautiful runner,
Beautiful dog, who they rescued
With pride-filled rescuing hearts.
She can’t keep doing this much damage.
Or at least we’re going to have to lock her in the room.
We can’t give her back, you know, it’s not like you can give a child back,
They’re not a bad cup of soup.
So we’re going to trade her old box for a new, shiny new, cage.
That way she’ll fit in here.
She’ll fit in with her beautiful hair.

3:
She speaks now with a lisp
From her fake tooth
To stop the infection that was under the gum,
That she was convinced was killing her.
She has to talk on the phone with that voice.
I have a laughing pity.
My favorite kind of emotion,
For the woman I’m not sure I grudgingly hate.

4:
Woman of wisdom, believer in spirits.
She tells me she thinks the human auras parted the red sea,
After she briefs me on her latest case brought to trial.
She’s the mother who always had to do it the hard way.
Wouldn’t let her kids define her, control her, or let herself resent them.
So she put her first, for better and worse,
She lives with the guilt, of missing what she missed of me.

5:
I’ve planned what I’ll say when he dies.
Not because I can’t wait for him to die, but because sometimes I use him,
To find a way to cry.
And he always loved a good speech.

6:
Tell me I’m pretty.
That’s all I need to hear today.
Don’t say: you’re gorgeous,
My girl, my honey, mine.
Don’t tell me what you love me more than;
Tell me how your feelings look today.

7:
You’re in such a beautiful box.
I know what you’re going to say next,
I know for sure how this story I’ve heard before will end.
You’ve told me before.
I’ve heard already,
And I have safe love for what will happen later.

8:
I met her for coffee.
Just outside this great little place she found.
I took her as she was,
As I saw her,
As she showed herself to me.
I remembered I’m good with people,
If I try, I’m so very good,
It’s a switch I flip,
I know.
To be charming, and lovely, and not quite me, in the light.
But that one has good friends, and people who love her,
And she cares to try.

9:
Good people.
Good as in solid, strong, and right.
Righteous goodness.
They have solid bones, and solid minds,
And like good people, they keep their twists to themselves.

10:
I don’t want to let this grudge go.
I want to keep it,
And feed it spitfires, so it keeps burning, to keep me angry.
Because when I’m angry I can’t be mad at myself.
It’s lovely there, with righteous anger. It’s so great.
And I can think of all these reasons to hate, all these reasons they’re wrong,
These reasons I won’t share. That make me feel better.
And what am I going to do without my martyred, middle child self?
What will be left of me?
Happiness for fools. Give me my sinners cynicism and dark giggles.
I’ll know where I stand, and I’ll know where my lines are,
And I’ll understand where they come from unsympathetic, unloving, happy.

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