Afterlife

 

AFTERLIFE

 

saying no
what the holy spirit
never taught me

 

wine glass
my testimony
becomes obsolete

 

bisexual
undoing
every prayer

 

hand-me-downs
my sister and I
trade religions

 

street preacher
I count myself
among the damned

 

make-up sex
what would have been
grace

 

stargazing
what I thought was a miracle
now a mystery

 

church bells
the altar no longer
my home

 

Scryptic Magazine 2.3

Scryptic Magazine 2.2

half moon
we discuss
my deficiencies

 


 

night vigil
her pulse monitor
the only star

 


 

blank wall
memorizing
every crack

 


 

Nothing is Free

“Be Happy” admonishes the bumper sticker in front of me. I try. Hell as my witness, I try.

 

dinner party
unzipping
my pill case

 


 

Echoes

This is the last time I will hear my mother’s violin. Sold off to pay for medical bills, at least the family that has it now will play it.

 

end of the line
no more obligations
to cling to

 


 

yielding*

a slip of the tongue

there was much
i didn’t know

but all bets are off
when it comes
to a honeymoon

 

          crimson lace
          no books
          to help me now

 


 

*this haibun involves using a cherita as the prose

 


 

Scryptic Magazine 2.2

 

 

legacy

legacy

 

Everyone else had left. We had packed up all we could not knowing when the bank would come and repossess the condo. Grimy from the months of disuse, your final home held nothing for me. The home we moved into after the divorce. The home I discovered how to smoke in. The home I had my own affair in. Now, standing at the bottom of the steps with a last sweeping look around, I whisper “did you ever love me?”

 

slush
these worn shoes
still holding on

 

5 of 5 haibun in Scryptic Magazine Issue 2.1

lost miracles

lost miracles

 
We weren’t trying to get pregnant. It wasn’t until the anatomy scan that we knew she would be alright despite the Lithium.

 
unexpected guest
I sweep the dirt
under the rug

 
Hours after birth they pull her off my breast. The medication we thought was safe, still isn’t.

 
fresh basil
with every cut
a bruise

 
As I stand at the sink mixing formula, my eyes settle on the middle distance.

 
postpartum depression
even her cries
can’t reach me

 

4 of 5 haibun published in Scryptic Magazine Issue 2.1

beyond the pale

beyond the pale

 
It was days after our daughter’s birth that we decided to leave. We set up an exit strategy that took months of careful negotiation to pull off. Explanations of theological differences were cited. Lies about being “called to the workforce and out of ministry” were given. Anything we could grab at we did. The truth was that we couldn’t look at our baby and see God anymore. At least not their god.

 
folded pamphlet
I follow the preacher’s
snakeskin shoes

 

3 of 5 haibun published in Scryptic Magazine Issue 2.1

present and accounted for

present and accounted for

 
Sitting in the nursery, reading all your current favorites, we sink deeply into one another. This moment,while your whole body still fits snugly into my lap, makes me almost forget. Your weight, your warmth, is a balm to my mind. I almost forget the pills I take three times a day. The days I’m not sure I can do this any longer. The weeks, months, years, spent dancing on the edge of madness. Here, the seconds expand into lifetimes. I have yet to disappoint you. Yet to become someone you no longer recognize. Yet to be a source of shame. I am still the one you run to after you fall. Still the one you call for in the middle of the night. Still mama. I am not what I was, I’m not what I will be, I am who you believe me to be; safe and sound.

 
locked door
the way my nurse says
“good night”

 

2 of 5 haibun published in Scryptic Magazine Issue 2.1

waiting

waiting

 
I watch the yolk break and run into the egg white. They don’t know that I’ve spent the morning fighting back tears of depression. I call out that breakfast will be ready soon and ask them what they want to drink. Watching the eggs bubble I wonder if I should have ever had children at all. Strawberries sit on the cutting board and the bread bag is still twisted shut. I stand in the kitchen fighting against the winter and the dark and the cold. The kids wander in and start pulling their plates off the counter. And I pull on my smile.

 
cloudy night
how my shadow
hides

 

1st of 5 haibun published in Scryptic Magazine Issue 2.1

Outside In

Outside In

 

revival service
the way words
fall into our wallets

 

altar call
I check the dip
of my neckline

 

demonic oppression
my statements
turn to questions

 

laying on of hands
the slight pass
over my bra strap

 

born again
what I love
becomes sin

 

a test
of my faith
biology 101

 

group prayer
how we keep up
with the joneses

 

daily devotions
all the ways
I’m undone

 

repentance
not enough
hot coals

 

deconversion
sunday mornings
now my own

 

Honored to appear in Scryptic Magazine Issue 2.1!

2 Haibun in Scryptic

Thrilled to appear in Scryptic Magazine 1.4 with 2 haibun!

 

Homeward Bound

I overhear the character on my daughters cartoon show ask, “Do you know what’s in the box”? Well, do you know? It’s my broken spirit. My bubbling anger. My frustration over having a perpetually messy house, with no energy to fix it. It’s my fear that these years are slipping by without me soaking in all the precious moments because I’m up to my ears in a desire to run away. It’s my humiliation that this it not enough. It’s the unshakable belief that if I just tried harder these feeling would all go away. It’s the suspicion that I’m not alone. Yet, still, desperately alone.

spent dandelion
no more wishes
left to wish


All in a Day’s Work

I don’t recognize my own vagina. After two children, it’s as if a completely different woman exists between my legs. A woman who was disfigured by wordless strangers who only knew how to claw, tear, and then piss on her. A woman who fears too much touch. A woman who feels pain now when she craves pleasure. A woman who rarely raises her head to say hello and instead mumbles indiscriminately and gives up. A woman who has chronic dry mouth. Beaten and too ashamed to mention her trauma, a woman who has begun to brick herself off from the world in hopes that it never happens again.

Though, writing it out, it seems my vagina and I aren’t actually all that dissimilar.

tending to my garden
a new bud
among the weeds

 

matricharcy

*TW: the following content contains references to sexual abuse

 

she tells me
the size of his penis
hello puberty

 

breakfast with grandma
the trust fund
stays open

 

ballet every day
her pipe dreams
in me

 

playing Brahms
her sincerity
off-key

 

ptsd
the echo
of her laughter

 

french tipped nails
waiting in line
behind her priorities

 

nakedness
I always knew
they were fake

 

daily backrubs
she teaches me
how to moan

 

personality disorder
I cannot escape
her shadow

 

post-mortem
my children
out of her reach

 

Scryptic Magazine: a magazine of dark art – edition 1.3 December 2017

Inside Out

sins of the flesh
her illness
becoming mine

 

speaking in tongues
my rite
of prostitution

 

visions of jesus
no one suspects
psychosis

 

bible study
we learn how not
to feel

 

closed doors
all the little lies
i told

 

heavy breathing
he tells me
it’s the lord’s will

 

discipleship
i contemplate
suicide

 

masturbation
the way he says
“God bless”

 

exorcism
my pastor waits
for payment

 

our last sermon
I let
the devil win

 

Scryptic: a magazine of dark art – Issue 1.2: September 2017

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