I learned to Lie

I remember getting braces
in 4th grade,
cold winter with the trappings
of many a grey sky,
the dentist,
big white coat,
big white coat,
asks if he’s hurting me
and with tears
streaming down my face
I say,
“no, Im fine.”

The little girl in me
with her pigtails
bouncing through the snow
still lies I suppose
to appease
a room,
a boy,
a girl,
a piece of furniture that
you lost your virginity on,
a job,
a friend,
a character,
a mask,
a voice in my head.

The lie feels fucking good
when it spills out,
this mixture of confusion and adrenaline,
only sometimes though,
when it’s from the inner caverns
of my mouth,
a soft place to land
when I don’t know
how to say no to you
but couldn’t possibly
let my introverted octopus self
hurt your feelings
with honest words dripping
from me
like holy fucking water.

And when my first lover
entered me
without so much as a
warning or even an asking
of what I might want,
I clamped my mouth shut and
watched the ceiling fan
go round and round.

And when my dad died,
after the shock had worn off
for the people around me,
who didn’t even know my dad that well,
others felt I should move on,
oh come on,
move on,
move on with me,
and I found myself detaching from even angels
for the sting of it all and learned to
not speak my loss out,
friends cut me off in mid sentence
so they wouldn’t have to even
hear his name
and I started to lie
about my grief,
“oh Im fine.”

Then in the cancer times,
Jordan getting sicker and sicker,
I spent my days
getting bad news
and forcing out choked silver linings,
lying every moment,
squeezing hope out of a tumor growing.
I lied about trips to
the hospital
because I didn’t want to bother co-workers
with awkward
cancer stories,
I lied about how I was doing,
what was hurting,
what I wanted,
even to my girlfriend
who sat with me in waiting rooms
at all hours of the morning,
holding my hand,
once I became silent
tis such a hard habit to break
even when your head’s screaming.

And now with my brother,
my better half
gone from here,
I feel things shifting,
they have to for survival,
and maybe someday to live loud,
not just coping.
I am teaching myself to speak again,
beginning at least
to learn where the lies
inside me come from,
because they were taught to me in harsh whispers
by cold capitalist machines in my sleep
with the radiator running and the abuser
banging on the door
as I plan escape routes.
Not something innately in my nature,
the lie,
years covering scars
so you couldn’t see
my aching tentacles eight
sticking out at all angles
in the silky moonlight
until the crows
carried me home
on their backs,
to bed,
to bed,

to sleep.

Untold Horros of the Cancer Choke

There was an echo
within this place
of children
dying and crying
in hospital hallways,
their sobs rang through the rooms
of my head like
a fucking thunder.
Kind calm mamas
wipe her quiet tears
and dads sing her favorite lullabies
as the poor babe
tries to fall back to sleep
with IVs pump
all the way up to
her red curls,
which she will also lose
in a weeks time.

I saw nurses
distracting boys
with train toys
while sleep starved parents
get more bad news
and wept in restrooms
so their kids wouldn’t see.
I must confess of doing
this as well
and became friends with the
bathroom stall wall
who wept with me
which I thought was very kind indeed.

I remember Jordan crying out to me in my sleep,
then waking up
in the middle of the night
with a start
and finding a text from him
in the many months after his diagnosis
telling me he was scared
and didn’t feel brave,
so I got up at
5 in the morning
and drove like a witch possessed
to walk and drink coffee with him
in the early morning frosts,
hearing his story,
his processing of death,
thus life too,
and we got sad together,
got angry together,
wept together
at this cancer that
didn’t hear us or care,
and even more so
for needing our father
taken from us before the cancer came calling.

The untold horrors of the
cancer choke
stick in my throat.
I cant,
just cant speak it out
like a crave to,
so I breathe,
just breathe baby,

and smile on.

In Dreams

And in the end of this
particular cluster of
there was a deep wide blue river
that I wade into red,
and find your hands
floating there,
the river becomes an ocean
flooding the nearby town
from my alice tears.

Hey boy,
just let me have a
fucking moment,
hush your goddamn tongue
in my head,
silence, you.
Yet he is part of me
I suppose,
so he cant really quiet,
he has nowhere else to home.

The alligators
chomp through
their cages
and waltz
each other
back to the marshes,
weeping willow waters
host the dead
before they spread out
and walk through
the walls of their respective towns
in the night,
smirking and wailing
while you slumber,

tossing and turning in your sleep.