Tag Archives: domestic violence

To Women

I’ve spent longer watching myself smile in the mirror than I’ve spent laughing with friends.

Has your mother accused you of scratching yourself because of the stretch marks on your breasts?

To the women who wipe it away with alcohol. I understand. I’m here if you need me.

Don’t qualify your statements when you speak. You’ve a right to be heard. Have something worth saying. I want to hear it.

To the women I’ve let down. I’m sorry. Tell me please, so I can get better.

Who fall in love with the cashier at Dunkin’ Donuts because he has a sexy voice and he kept my extra penny.

I’ve never seen a healthy relationship. What would I expect from my own?

Who have tried to turn over one-sided mattresses by themselves.

Who have hair on their bellies longer than the hair on their legs.

Who have used the same pair of panties, with a different pad the next day.

If you can’t eat goldfish without eating the whole bag.
Welcome. I have snacks.

Who have been the victims of sexual assault.
Domestic violence rates are nearly one in three.
Do you know three women?
You don’t have to move on with your life if you don’t want to.

If you’ve got in your car and never left.

Sing all the words to Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” if you haven’t had a hair cut in a year and a half. Light a big yankee candle, turn off the lights, put your crystal necklaces in a semi-circle and pray to the gods that Robin McKinley will write a sequel to “Sunshine.”

If you’ve never sent anyone a nude photo, you don’t have to be beautiful to be human. I hate my feet too. The only thing yoga helps with is passing gas. My thighs certainly aren’t thinner.

I’ve over-thought a two-second conversation because it was the last time I’ve spoken with anyone all day. My socks never match either. I like that it drives other people nuts.

To those who wear the blood of a crushed mosquito on their skin like war paint. Come hike with me.

To the woman who can’t find an entry-level job that pays a living wage and has snaggle tooths.
You are good enough.

Who read romance novels into the morning to self-sabotage their big day.

To the women who won’t give up control.
Don’t apologize.

To the women who are actually able to tell their accidental, fingering-on-the-couch date that, no they haven’t found the clitoris.
Can you tell me how you did it?

Who have scrapes from going skinny-dipping in the rocky Pacific at midnight in thirty-degree weather. Don’t ever start showering every day.

Who have to remind themselves that friends can have other friends, and they won’t leave you.

To the women who have gone to bookstores so they can tell this day from the last.

To the women who have changed in the backseat of the car because you needed to. I bet you can also take off your bra without removing your shirt.

To the women who wait for a text.
Who don’t want to be needy.
Who try to call out sexism.
Who have to live with someone they don’t love.
Jason Momoa is in your google images search history.

If you don’t have anyone to talk to, talk to me.

To the women who have cried for no reason at all and can’t stop themselves, and get mad at yourself because really, you’re old enough, what is wrong with you, why can’t you do anything right?

To my quiet women, who can’t tell someone how they feel. Try listening to Cat Stevens.

To the women who have stood up to their mothers. Did you hands shake too?

Can you tell a guy to shut up? Have you figured out how to be interested in his hobbies?

To the women up north who wear xtratufs, toting shotguns and dead moose. You’re heroes. Tell your Alaskan sons to stop raping women.

To my aunt who took me in when I hadn’t lived outside a village in too long and I was weird.

To the woman who was nice to me in Sitka. Who didn’t need to be. Who talked to me like I mattered. You don’t know how much I wish I could be friends with you.

To my sister who didn’t have that affair. I will never judge you for your sexuality or promiscuity. I will be there if you leave him. I will send you secret condoms.

To my mother who tries so hard.

To Kelly who doesn’t see how wonderful she is. You are beautiful in and of yourself. If you find someone to love you, great. If you don’t, you will always be the best of humanity.

I wish I knew all the women I accidentally hurt, who think about me as often as I think of the high-school girls who hurt my feelings. I want to fix it.

To the women who have picked at the dirt stuck at the corner of their toenails, who aren’t sure if they can make it on their own, who look down when they walk, who don’t laugh too loud because they’re not sure they have a right to be alive, who are trapped, who are scared, who are destined for greatness, who have a well-worn t-shirt of a college bar logo and a mug of beer.
You are my favorite.

You will be better than your mother, because someone loves you. I love you.

I love you as you are. I love you. I mean it.

I love you. I love you. I love you. Stop hurting the people I love.

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Poems form My Day (8-22-16)

1:
This will probably be the best week of the year.
Do you know what I did today?
I went kayaking for the first time.
I could hear the whales. I could see their water spouts.
I listened to the sea lions yelling at each other.
I have a blister.
I went paddle boarding. I tried to stand up. I felt wobbly.
The water is cold.
I went hiking up the rocks at the point.
I stood on moss that’s been shaded by these trees for hundreds of years.
My boots are still tied.
I applied for my first photography contest.
I sent in my first story query to a magazine.
I ate halibut I saw come in on the line.
I saw it drained. I saw it fileted. I smelled it cook.
I came within ten feet of my first black bear.
We both wanted to watch the sunset.
My heart didn’t beat much faster.
I drove up a mountain all by myself in my little blue car on the one lane black gravel roads.
I picked berries.
I made jam with my own two hands.
I did all that today.
And it’s still not enough.
I still feel lazy.
No matter how close to perfect I become,
That feeling will never go away, will it?
My mother, she calls it the Purtain in us.
That feeling of never doing enough, being enough,
Never being good enough.

2:
I like to imagine which poems Terry Gross will pick out to analyze me
Once I become a famous poet.
And I have a book on shelves somewhere.
Whichever ones she selects will throw daggers at my character.
I like to think she’ll find themes in myself I didn’t know were there.
Then I’ll finally get recognition from my father for all the money he spent educating my brain.
See, Dad, I’m not as smart as my sister, but I can be on NPR, for just being me.

3:
Am I interesting?
I’m not so sure.
I met a programmer who told me I was.
It must be because I moved to Alaska.
Other than that,
I’m a quiet person,
Who prefers to listen to your stories, than tell my own.
I suppose that makes me greedy.

4:
I have so much to say.
I can’t get it all out.
I can’t stop myself from feeling apologetic.
I have to barrel through.
And not think about it.
It’s like singing really loudly in my mind, so I can’t process anything.

5:
She was telling me about the island next to Russia,
Where she used to be.
About how high the domestic violence percentages are there.
There’s not much we can do about it,
Because you can’t go to the clinic, then your Aunt would find out,
And she’d tell your boyfriend.
You can’t tell your Mom, it was her new husband after all.
The cops would have to fly in on a helicopter.
They don’t have rape kits here.
You can’t tell school, you have cousins in your class,
Half of them have your last name.
Outsiders can only hope it will get better, with these new generations.
It makes me wish I was stronger.
Strong enough to do something about it, even though I have no position in the community.

6:
We don’t have cops here.
Our VPSO left.
That means there’s no law.
Not like most followed the rules anyway.
But we’ve got people stealing gas, girls, cedar, and stuff from your car.
And our house still doesn’t have locks.
The troopers take days.
The last time we didn’t have a VPSO,
A girl got killed,
Took two days for them to get here.
Two days.
The community watched over the body.

7:
I’m living below poverty line.
I did the math today,
It was the car payments that nicked me over.
But it was so hard walking to work everyday.
My parents still cover my health insurance,
And I split my cell phone with my sister.
But my rent with gas and utilities is over 60% of my income.
And I’m spending too much on food.
I’m just me. I’m good with money. I have no debt.
What do you do if you have a baby, and you make as little as I do?

Poems from My Day (6-28)

what’s my sin? i try so hard.

1:
My brain woke up today.
There are so many things to keep in mind when I’m having a conversation.
Or telling people what to do.
I can’t keep it straight.
Then I over eat to compensate.
It’s a protective shield.
If I don’t take care of myself,
No one has to talk to me.

2:
Trying to be interesting, and well read,
I’m up to number seven of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
So far,
I’ve gathered,
I’m supposed to have a child to pass on my beauty.
I must be missing something.

3:
In one of my potential conversations in my mind,
I have to explain my relationship to him.
We’re messed up in similar ways,
So we’re mutually supportive of our destructiveness. Together,
If you can get him on the line,
He’s a good source of predictability,
But he’s also one of the main reasons I won’t drink too much. He’s so close to what I am, it’s a reminder to do better. What a way to use him.

4:
Quit telling me how to feel or what to do
Just tell me what you want to tell me and get on with it.

5:
I can have a family? I can pick them out? I can choose?
I could have kids and a husband if I wanted and smoosh together in photos?
I could have that?
It makes me want to cry.
It seems so far away from the life I’ve known.

6:
A friend here on the island has a baby.
I’m becoming familiar to the intricacies of wails.
Someone else has a two-year-old and a five-year-old.
They’re around all day.
It’s,
Almost too much.
I don’t think I can deal with that,
Can I make that proclamation, or am I too young? No kids on my own.

7:
There was a woman, drunk
Outside the blue house across the way,
And her man, a man, I guess, was forcing her into the truck.
There were little kids.
Screaming, and she was beating the kid with her bag.
And yelling.
I felt so naïve.
What to do, what’s right? Why am I so upset? Why aren’t I more upset?
Why are they so casual about domestic violence here?