we were not special

in my head i can romanticize you into the perfect portrait of a Sunday afternoon.

in my head i can convince myself that you were too wild and i was too, too something for this to be what i need(ed) it to be.

in my head you are still on my couch and i am touching your neck and you are holding my legs and we are laughing at the dog.

in my head you chose me.

in my head you did not tell me thank you for being such a good friend and now you are so happy.

in my head you did not move on. i did.

in my bed, i am staring at the pillows and sleeping in your shirt and telling myself that i know in my head i am crazy and i should listen to the therapist and tell you that you aren’t welcome here anymore.

you are always welcome here.

in my head, i am your home.

i am not your home. i was the hotel you stayed in for a week long trip to the beach.

i am your vacation to faraway lands, and you are my mortgage to a house in the suburbs.

it’s funny how we spin everything and see opposites of what is the same. there is a truth in the middle, we just can’t ever reach that point.

it’s okay. i dont have the courage to be angry anymore.


i will never be great at anything. but i think i can be good at somethings. i am okay with my mediocre life in my mediocre home because it is sincerely me. i do not need to be anything more than what i am with pen and paper -that is when i am good.

i think that for a long time i have been trying to fend off my sadness

with new jobs, friends, workloads, therapy

i think that i starting to understand that my sadness is an integral part of my blood

whether i like it or not

but i do like it

i feel like i am severing myself in half when i try to separate myself from the sadness


my father taught me how to shoot but my mother taught me how to aim

my father taught me not to fear but my mother taught me how to stare down the barrel of a gun

It is not always about the bruises

The only time you see me is with my hands tied behind my back and a ball gag in my mouth and me saying

“Daddy, fuck me, pick me, choose me, love me.”

I am on my knees and I am scrubbing your floors, I am standing on my feet and I am combing your hair.

You only feel guilty when you leave me at five in the morning as you wake from a dead sleep to the dead body next to you

that you massacred the night before and the night before and the night before

The war torn battlefield that lay next to you, the battle is won.

Take your weapons and get out of my home. But once is never enough, twice is never enough. Ten times is never enough to satisfy your carnal instinct as I scrub your floors and comb your hair.

My knees are brittle and my hands ache, as I cook your food and I cut your cake.

The knife that belongs in the cake feels much better inside me, as it is there that I find a better meaning than “Happy Birthday, Darling.” It is in this final moment that I put my apron away.

1, 2, and 3

My father told me as a young child about the crabs in the bucket theory. In short, it means that there is always one person trying to climb out of a metaphorical bucket and there are a handful of other crabs trying to keep it in the bucket.

To my ex boyfriends who I can’t seem to shake off:

(1) I was barely eighteen when I met you and I fell in love with the parts of you that no one else liked. I thought your shitty tattoo you did yourself when you were fifteen to see how much it hurts was the most interesting thing painted on your almond skin. You had eyes that were so black, when I looked at them it was impossible to see anything but the things in myself I did not like, as they reflected all the bad and ugly in both of us. You told me about when you felt the demons literally following you around and I said you were completely deranged; I couldn’t shake the feeling of someone following me around for weeks following that. We never make love, you only want someone to sleep next to you on your floor. And I do. I don’t know what exactly happened, but you stop telling me to come over and I start filling your missing shoes with bartenders and half priced drinks. You were the first man to touch me in a way that I can still feel if I try really hard. When you pop up now, like spring, you come slowly and fade quickly, but I like to think that there are days I rest comfortably in the back of your head, next to you on the floor.

(2) I am exiting my first thing that has any semblance to a relationship and I meet you in a strange way. The first night I met you I could have married you on the spot if courthouses were open at two in the morning. They are not, and I think I resent that to this day. We dance to records and you tell me about your entire life. You tell me you’ll take me to San Francisco with you, and I still do believe that you honestly meant that. It is a short time, filled with the most poetic heartfelt absurd crazy tipsy turvy will i ever feel this way again, experiences I had. I tell my friends about you. You wear suits and have a master’s degree and talk about things I never have even thought about. I stay up late trying on your over sized shirts and making fun of your collection of fine leather shoes. Things shift, you tell me exactly how and why I am not the girl for you. I take this as a challenge, and you tell me to fuck off. This ends in a spiraling attempt to keep you and around when all I end up keeping is a bottle of bourbon by the bedside to put me to sleep and I horrible anxiety about text messages that I don’t think I will ever be able to break. We’re friends now, and sometimes we sleep in the same bed to comfort one another. I like us a lot more now than I did then. The room is always silent but it feels like home. I look forward to our Sundays.

(3) You. I can’t ever wrap my head around you. Of all the shitty shit combined, it was you who did it in the best, most profoundly cruel way. When I met you six years ago I never thought that I would end up falling in love, hate, passion, and heartbreak with you. You broke me like a horse that could not be tamed you were the one who mamed me enough to where when you say down, I will drop to the floor. I am face down on the floor because of you most of the time. Whether it is screaming crying, falling onto a floor laughing, or you holding me down to hit me so you can get your fill of sexual pleasure, I am on the floor for you. You are the most complicated, broken, beautiful individual to me and I cannot explain this feeling to anyone but myself. The days we shared that were easy are so far between now that I feel myself filled with relief to not fight with you. My mental health has been completely altered because of you. I was always sad, but this is a feeling of pitting the insides out of someone for sport and I do not understand why you poach me. When you leave me, I know you will come back. And I can’t ever seem to find the words, the physical exertion to ever muster anything besides it’s okay. One time I thanked you for what you did to me because I am so numbed to it all at this point that it makes it better to just pretend that you are good person with -character flaws. Today is another day where I cry in public because you can’t meet me for dinner. Today is another day where you are in a room full of people who love you, and I am alone searching for strength to tell you to stop. It doesn’t stop, I am constantly shackled to a person I do not want to be because of you. If you could ever find a way to see this, I hope you know how I physically ache most days, and how I hope to God that my child never feels what I have felt because of you. This is not beautiful, this is a hurricane that destroys everything and leaves nothing but broken glass and ruined homes behind. I am the home. I cannot forget you, and I cannot rebuild until you leave me. Please leave me.

(4) I write this in an effort to remind myself that there are always people whose sole purpose is to keep you where you are. I am full of things that I am so proud of, that I constructed and tend to, I am better than the pain that I feel because of you. 1,2 – thank you. You, despite your inability to love gave me beautiful times and helped me grow into a beautiful woman. 3, you will not win. I can leave. I will leave. I am more than you.


My fingers are falling off from the words I’ve been pouring into prose to keep you as far away as possible
My mouth is drenched in cheap whiskey to core up this obsessive self infliction you brought and your ghost kept here
My hips are sinking in from the fifteen pounds it lost because I you like your girls tiny in body and spirit
My eyes are hollowing from five too many nights of staying up going over and over in my head, analyzing the words you surely said
My feet are achey from the six inch heels that I wear to make you think I’m put together, but when I walk to my car I fall down the stairs because composure is my weakness
My spine is straighter, you made me improve my posture, while minimizing my existence. I tried my best to stand taller.
My head…it hurts. And I find you to blame because blaming my weaknesses on you for exposing them is easier than admitting it was me all along, the faults I could not bring myself to conquer.

Irish Whiskey on a Thursday

I am learning to conquer the balance of the need for the bottle and the need for a body.
Both do nothing for me, at the end of the day.
I just daydream that perhaps I am someone else, that you are, that this is all not what it is. (day dreams are an understatement for delusion.)
I think of you but only the parts I like, I hate remembering who you really are.
My writing isn’t as good as it used to be (the heartbreak isn’t so fresh anymore?)
The bottle wins tonight as the body is not around.
The bottle often wins.
The bottle

Sit down, have a drink, let’s review

I am three and I have dropped my father’s toothbrush in the toilet. My parents are laughing. Everyone smiles. Things are so funny, their little wonder is always so mischievous. This is my first memory and I am thankful it is.

I am eighteen and I have fallen in love for the first time. He tells me he understands me and I believe he does. He dresses poorly, I fear bringing him home to my family. He builds me up and loses himself in the mess. He becomes an alcoholic and I fight every day to not sleep with another man. We have sex and I tell him through tears that we’re no longer together. He drinks every night. I write and avoid our favorite coffee shop.

I am 12 and I have received my first kiss from a 16 year old boy who never cared and was up to no good. My best friend loses her virginity in the bunk bed underneath me, I pray to someone that the same thing doesn’t happen to me that night, it doesn’t. I listen to her parents get high on crack in the next room and I wonder if every sleepover is like this one.

I am eleven and I have received my first kiss, first touch, from a fourty two year old man who lives in the room next to me and whom I call Uncle. I try to shy away from him but he is relentless. I sleep on a couch for the next month and hope my mother asks me what’s wrong, but we are preparing to move again and she does not. I don’t blame her, I keep to myself before and after this.

I am seventeen and living with my best friend. Our friends live with us in turns. I fall in love with every one who walks into our home. We try to kill ourselves but never do. Our best friend leaves us for an old life with a new child. I move away from home and I consider sleeping with men for money because I have substituted my love for men for a love of whiskey and cocaine. It feels good to not feel.

I am thirteen and I have started smoking.

I am sixteen and Jesus Christ himself saves me. I carry a 175 pound cross on my back in the middle of night because my pastor tells me it is a good idea. I tell other people to do the same. On Good Friday I learn he is having sex with my friend and that his wife’s baby is due next week. I become an Atheist on Easter Sunday.

I am fourteen and my father is deployed again. My mother cries into her reality television and her wine glass because she gives up her life again and again for her emotionally void family. She yells at me. We argue because I spend my time with people who we both know are bad. I hide in my room. She breaks things and breaks down. I hold her. We reconcile over a bag of popcorn and Desperate Housewives. This happens weekly.

I am nineteen, I am clean and learning how to forgive others. I crave attention more than ever. I live alone; I smoke a pack and a half a day. I write about dying often and I worry about my mother and grandmother and they make me wish I believed in God. I am learning that the answer isn’t in the bottom of a bottle. I am learning that the girl who wrote little notes in my room and knows the meaning of a pack of Reds, despite a tumultuous year, is my friend and my family. I am at peace with the bridges I walked over and set on fire along the way. I am not a victim.

I am at the beach with my family, I am 10. My parents don’t argue. My grandparents aren’t dead from cancer and malpractice. My parents tell me they are proud of me and they cannot wait to see what I do in ten years. I tell them I want to be a lawyer, they say I can be whatever I want. This is not true, but I find solace in the momentary peacefulness in this picturesque moment my family experiences. My grandfather sits me in his lap, “you know I love you, hm? C’mon, lets’ watch the game.” So we do, and I feel safe there, this is the last time I remember being innocent.

A year in the city, in memory of you

July: I fall in love with my new home. Im mystified by skyscrapers and bars. I fall in love with Cooper. He makes my head not hurt. I learn that men out here aren’t hometown heroes and that love is underrated. It rains a lot.
August: Im drinking at a dive bar every night with my only friend here. I run through my savings. I learn why cocaine is a luxury. I spend an evening with a millionaire. I cry and listen to my favorite songs. I find a job.
September: I haven’t made any friends at school. The people at my job are nice, I day dream dirty thoughts about one. He likes whiskey; I like being noticed by a city boy. I meet a redhead named Tom. He tells me I’m pretty and makes me think that I could do okay around here.
October: I fall in love with my manager. I cheat on the redhead Tom. I get hotel rooms. I’m good at my job. I make new friends. I do cocaine for the last time in the bathroom of a kitschy bar on the east side of town.
November: My manager becomes my lover. We celebrate his birthday. I’m glad to have someone around constantly. My best friend and I lose touch. I hate my dog.
December: I see my family. I give my dog back. I fall in love and feel at home. I feel safe. I learn how to drink scotch and smoke cigars. We celebrate New Year’s with all our friends. It’s picturesque. I find this memory fond, and wonder how long this good feeling will last.
January: I take my job more seriously. I change my major. I’m smoking a pack and a half a day. I’ve gained ten pounds. My boyfriend finds comfort in me and aches to not need me like a child needs a mother’s breast. I miss being alone.
February: Something changes. I desperately try to be in love. We go to Nashville. I have the best weekend of the year. February is a short month for a reason.
March: I tell Taylor I don’t love him anymore and he doesn’t believe me, he tells me to try one more time and I listen because he is my best friend. Family dinners become the worst part of my week. I crave recognition from someone else. I find it in a friend in Charleston.
April: We fight every day. He drinks every night. I’m writing again. I can’t get out of my head.
May: I leave him, my friends, and the comfortable life I had. My heart is heavy and I feel like I have severed a limb from myself, I am lighter, but something is gone that I can never get back. I start apologizing to the old life I had.
June: I sleep with five different men in one week. I see my friend in Charleston, it makes me feel useless and I begin to regret what I’ve done. I crave love and lust and a chest to sleep in at night. He calls me near daily –always drunk as if I can taste the whiskey dripping off of the end of the receiver.
July: It’s my birthday. I feel indifferent. We fuck. I cry. I move. I start a new job. I think this is what starting over feels like.
August: I feel the same way I did last August. I talk to Cooper. I have my old friends. I don’t miss you. I think about Tom Waits a lot and why I am writing an ode to you, when you were just a six month long wave that crashed over me, and were gone as quickly as you were here. Acceptance.