I wrote this one for all of the women I know that no one believed, whose attackers are free. They privately and publicly fall apart, but I know why. Shattered women live in societies with little justice.
I believe you
with your eyeliner cat’s eye,
wine bottle latched to your hand,
I trace your hothead Facebook rants,
launching insults with no guidance systems into screens like confetti.
Insanity isn’t a switch.
It’s a stone hitting a windshield and cracks that creep at every stress until the driver can’t see clearly through the shattering.
I have been prolific over the past few months and working on a cover for the next new poetry volume. I’ve also been remodeling my house and donating so many things that cluttered my space.
I opened the front closet of doom recently so that I could give the door a new coat of paint. (Do you have a closet of doom? I try not to, but it’s not really a priority. 🤷🏻♀️) I had one of those gift wrap/gift bag organizers on the inside of the door. Like an adulty-adult would. And I realized that my gift bag stash is ridiculous. Here’s why:
I learned a secret in my 20s.
You can reuse gift bags.
And I held on to so many.
“I’ll get invited to baby and wedding showers.”
Or so I told myself.
But no one ever tells you there are women who don’t get invited to those events, who are too weird, too awkward, too unaware of what constitutes small talk.
(It’s the weather, isn’t it? I tried that and wound up prattling about lahars.)
I am 33 and trashing all of those bags.
Finally letting go of what isn’t to embrace what is.
Sometimes I think about how all of the circumstances align for us to meet someone at the right time. I’m grateful for my current set of unlikely occurrences. I live with PTSD, so I’ve been deeply skeptical that happy endings are possible and yet stubborn enough to look for them anyway.
Did I have to feel the chasm spreading in my bed?
Did I need to struggle raising three oh-so-close-together nerdlings alone?
Did I have to learn not to flinch when a fist went through the wall inches from my face?
Did I need to watch retreating backs
as I hyperventilated my way through panic attacks?
Did I have to go on so many blah, how-do-I-leave first dates?
Was that really the shortest path to you?
it was worth it.