Still mad

You once said I wasn’t like anyone you’d ever met

After our fight, I can say the same thing

I knew you could be arrogant

But I never knew anyone to be such a bitch

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I’m so mad at you that I’m writing a Russian novel about the way you blew me off

She was my friend when you weren’t
not only did she say I could visit her
but that I could stay for months

you didn’t even say
it’d be nice to see you, but
so now you are the downtrodden character
in my novel, who will eventually die
all alone in the Siberian forest
from frostbite, maybe, I haven’t decided yet

but the important part is the phone in your hand
which will be bagged for evidence
by the local police department who will contact me
because after all these years
I was the person you ended up texting
at the end of your life, you will think of me

and I will say, sorry
I don’t understand Russian
What is this, some sort of a scam
no, I don’t want your prince’s money
in a lump sum and I wont give you my information
and I will hang up on them even though they said your name
it will have been too heavily accented
and too far lost by then for me to comprehend

A Rescue Plan for the Woman who Lays in Bed Whining

Tyra would not get out of bed on her thirtieth birthday
or let me celebrate with her in any way
although she left the door open so I could let myself in
she tucked the blankets into all her edges
including her feet, with only her face bare
stubborn and grimacing

I tried to untuck her for a tickle into laughter
but she had armed herself against that favored tactic
I told her I would buy anything she wanted
or that she could buy it herself
because she was so much more successful than me
–nothing.

Then I huffed up my frustration and almost turned away
I muttered, Well, you’ll have to give up
And keep me company anyways
Because all of the idiots are going to do stupid things
And start dying off around this age

She didn’t say she didn’t care or cry or moan
so I looked over at her to find my reward
that she was grinning, so that was what worked
she slowly dressed and let me take her out
for dinner and dessert

now I refuse to answer my boyfriend
because I am thirty and unlike Tyra
spend almost all my time sleeping
so he prompts me with the baby voice
he uses to represent our puppy
a voice I could never argue with

and says, I have one hero, my mommy!
Oh really, Grendel. Why is that? Mommy hasn’t ever
accomplished anything but giving you belly rubs
and making you dog food omelets.
Not true, mommy! You saved me three times!
Really?
Yes.

The time there was a price on my head
You saved me from the Russians in Lynn
Who kept me in a cage and lied about my heritage
as if being a purebred would make me worth more than I already am
you saw past my knotted hair, bad breeding and ill manners
and paid an exorbitant price for me, always saying I was worth every penny

then at the dog park, when that scary dog put me in his mouth
and shook me while I screamed and bled
and all the other pet owners stood stunned
you ran past them, punched that dog in the mouth
and rushed me off to the hospital
where you held my paw and sang me songs

and then when our house burned down
you picked me up before you even put your shoes on
and carried me out snuggling my nose into your jacket
to protect me from smoke inhalation
and cooed to me so I wouldn’t be frightened
and rubbed my feet so they wouldn’t be as cold
as your own feet were getting, bare against the snow

you have done way more for me
mommy, than Tyra could ever have dreamed
of doing good for anyone by the time she was thirty
so how is she more successful than you, again?
I don’t know, I answered, but I’m feeling hungry
so I got up smiling, and dressed slowly for our dinner party

A Careful Measurement

It’s all I can do since you stopped writing to me
to recreate your image in a story
in which you are as tall as you ever were
and as sleek with the same bushy hair
but I’ve added some embarrassing skin afflictions

you are trotting across a country road in the rain
and to my credit, I don’t let any cars hit you
there is nothing but thunder and lightning
striking through the gravy of a sky
with the consistency of porridge
I have surrounded you with this setting
as a suffocating, lonely blanket
the mud staining the bottom of your skirts
and all the cows and horses in hiding
somewhere warmer than you will be able to find
until several chapters later
the scene is lumpy gray with mud and clouds
both splashing and infuriated
then, as you are running, your heel breaks

that is exactly how much I hate you today

Yes, Miss

After my house burnt down a lot of people said the same thing
“My god-well, at least you weren’t in it,” but I was, albeit in hiding
I had pretended to be out of town for Thanksgiving
but hightailed it home early to enjoy the quiet

And hightailed myself and my dog
out of the smoking wreck at five in the morning
and watched the fiery flames burst out of my window
until around noon when the Red Cross showed up
and clothed my shivering, wet feet with socks

I didn’t have a wallet or keys
the Red Cross lady added that I also
wouldn’t have a place to sleep
I couldn’t stay with my boyfriend
and my aunt had gone south for the winter already
so my dog and I did a lot of hiking
while I petitioned to be allowed
a temporary respite on my old college campus

I was thirty and the other students
weren’t old enough to drink
Although that’s never stopped anyone
As evidenced by the loud music
constantly blaring from my neighbors’ apartments
but at least I got to hear people having fun
rather than, say, domestic violence
or people getting shot

charities donated to heavy garbage bags of supplies to me
and I remembered that young men on campuses
were always happy to help girls with these types of errands
I spotted two of them, Erik and Edionis, while I was moving in
used a little finesse, and they helped my carry
all my bags up without breaking anything

I saw Erik again two weeks later and greeted him
with the best news-I had found permanent housing
we hugged, and as I apologized for hugging him
I peered into his eyes and saw my favorite color
A velvety brown, maroon in a certain light
and he explained to me that he hadn’t had the best life
couldn’t really afford to live on campus
didn’t have nice parents, and seemed disturbed
so much so that I was reminded of myself as a youth
he reassured me that he understood homelessness
and was just relieved that I found housing

another week passed and I came home to hear yelling
not the type that could be confused with the Patriot’s game
but endless, one sided, and filled with obscenities
very clearly in my living room coming from another building
I remembered someone saying they had heard a fight
two hours earlier, and that’s why my dog was barking
but it was still happening and then I heard what sounded like
furniture crashing

I called the police. Only after the yelling quieted
did I wonder if it was Erik doing acid in his apartment
as I had done when I was younger or fighting with his girlfriend on the phone
or worse, his mother, and if now because of me he was arrested

later still and deep into the night a knock on my door
startled me out of sleep, I was sure it was Erik
either coming for vengeance or a place to hide
the officer asked me for a witness statement
and said the student had been arrested
I felt slimy. I asked what the charge was
and he said drunk and disorderly
the student wasn’t alone
there was another student
passed out on the floor
during the whole thing

and what else? Did he have a weapon?
Yes, Miss. He had guns. A lot of them.

In which I become an unflattering mix of arrogantly petulant

So long as you’re ignoring me

After this very important argument

I’ll take the time to digress

To become ugly and petty

My next point in this matter

In any case is

that because I, unlike you, my friend

Am so socially successful

Or in layman’s terms, POPULAR

In case you don’t understand

What I mean

I’ve had the opportunity to divulge

Your hissy fit to three close relations

Just throughout the course of my regular day

Immediately after you betrayed me

To my friend in my class

Who had just invited me

To her VERY FANCY birthday party

In my regular daily phone call

From a rock star which of course

I accepted and with my boyfriend

Who knocks down the door

Whenever im trying to be alone to start drinking

And they all said the same thing

You, my friend, are weird and toxic

And it makes no sense to them

That you wouldnt want to visit me