the ceiling

today was meant to be my clean up day
i would make donations, bake cookies
make up a month of lesson plans
alleviate and dissipate my disaster
and vacuum up the remains

but i just finished filing two police reports
because the unexpected is a thief
now today is a lost day, its been stolen from me
its not even noon yet
but all i will do from the afternoon into the evening
is cry into my dog’s hair and look up at the ceiling

my dog panicked

you know that feeling after you lose everything
that you start to rebuild and you’ve just calmed down enough
to buy cookie mix and thank you cards
and then immediately after, you place your wallet in the pocket
of your donated jacket, and shortly after that
somehow, you lose it

i do, its devastating. ive retraced my steps
ive taken pills, ive smoked cigarettes
i cannot find it. i cried so hard curled up
against my refrigerator for so long that my dog panicked

happiness is

you can note that my methodology
relies on spite and enemies
only if you also mention
that I have survived and I am thriving
and I wouldnt have the guts
to stand up for myself
or to never, ever speak to my mother again
or to talk to Kelly’s manager
in such a vindictive manner as i am
if my support system hadnt grown
into a magnificent well of acid
i could draw from and splash in my enemies’ faces
and you should also note that after all,
im quite happy!

Hey mom, if you’re reading this

you should stop
I’ve changed my phone number
and I’m thinking about blocking you on facebook
ill tell you why, but my guess is that youve stopped reading
once you realized I was about to be unkind
anyways, i spent my life until the age of thirty
either terrified of you or being neglected
and you didnt help me during my crisis
which shouldnt surprise me one bit, but
you didn’t do so much as to share my gofundme page
though you shared a picture of my brother recently
who you’ve always allowed to be cruel to me
on his vacation

oh and remember that time
you forced me to get an abortion?
and forced him to pay so i could by myself things
and then disappeared again? I bet you felt
so good about yourself then
or when i OD’d and you were my emergency contact
and i hadnt seen you in months
remember when you laughed and took me out to lunch?
but two days later, when i OD’d again
you were nowhere to be found

guess what mom, these experiences were traumatizing for me
so i’m thinking you wont miss out on grandchildren
unfortunately-but if you do, you will only hear about it
through your friends who are still friends with me on facebook
and im glad, because you really fucked your first grandchild
right in the head-and im glad her mother, sister and their other grandmother
have cut you out, i think I’ll follow their lead

do you remember kicking me out
for the first time at age 12
for having a girlfriend
without so much as asking
what kind of incident
might have led to my
errant behaviors
or congratulating me
on making a friend
it was because i was molested, mom
and you never even asked

you allowed me to drop out
of high school, and then,
when i was invited to my prom
you called me a cunt and withheld
my grandmother’s dress from me
insisting that it was your mothers
and that i couldnt wear it

you threw away the poetry
book i made you for Christmas
you said it was depressing
i got attention for a story i wrote
about healing which you rejected
because you said it reflected poorly
on you as a mother, which it didnt

i supported you when you wrote books about sex
and you wouldn’t so much as share my poetry page
and when i came back from korea, after three years
you were rude to me and said you needed to go
straight to bed. my friend drove three hours
to drop me off from the airport and she saw the whole thing
it was humiliating. you didnt even hug me

and speaking of friends and humiliation
the mansion you bought for yourself and your husband
who you chose over me when i was a drug addicted teen
you left for dead on the streets—
years later, when i was 20 and in college
at least you said i could have a friend come visit
the Berkshires and stay in one of your suites
then you took it back the weekend she was supposed to be coming
and said actually, you didnt want strangers in your mansion

you called me the fat girl from the circus repeatedly
when i went through a chubby phase
right before i got my period and grew out of it
and it has always, always been about you
it has never once been about me
and did you know i stopped drawing completely
when you told me to because social welfare was coming
to take me away you said, and even at the age of eleven
i thought foster care, anything, would be preferable
but i was too afraid to keep drawing after you told me not to
and now, i cant draw anything-you stole that from me

and you know, mom, instead of being ignored, slighted, or screamed at for hours
i couldve used some counseling, and i want to thank you
for discouraging me to go to college, for saying i was a good enough
cashier and i should stick with it, because that is the reason i went
and hey mom, you can permanently suck my dick
your sister has stepped in as my surrogate mother
and thats where i will be, with her in Arizona for Christmas
hey mom, did you ever think once to invite me on one of your vacations?
no, the most recent times ive come to visit
you invited me to a movie with my stepmother, because apparently
you do not enjoy spending time alone, or at all with me
hey mom, guess what, i finally get it
because i feel the same
i just hope that when youre husband dies
you wont come calling me

and by the way, youve always wanted to know
why i love my father more than you
ill tell you that too
first and foremost, it’s because
through the divorce up until I’m 30
he has never, ever, spoken unkindly to me
about you-and i know he did that
so i wouldnt end up feeling hurt or confused
even as a three year old
i understood
the difference between
someone who was being nice to me
and someone who was mean

How I earned an all expense paid vacation to Egypt

Because I know how to work the system

And because I am a pretty woman

Who finds it easy to get donations

I was able to get Essam a bed and bed frame, the table and chairs he so desperately wanted

A full set of dishes, utensils, pots, pans, pillows and sheets

Within a week

Since he was eating standing up and sleeping on a naked air mattress

I figured he was the most needy

But I should be careful

Because Essam has always been in love with me

Today, he insisted, that the second he gets his American passport

He is taking me on an all expense paid trip to Egypt-nice hotel, fancy meals, everything.

Really, he said, put aside two weeks