Time Heals

Time Heals

I’ve been scrubbing for hours. It’s amazing how much of you was left behind. I laugh at the thought of this being your final “fuck you”. Yeah, well fuck you too.

You’re somewhere else now, floating away, seeing some place you’d never have seen while you were alive. I picture seagulls lined up with bits of trash in their mouths to lay at your feet. A
funeral procession for the most noble and loyal servant in filth. I hope they know you by your first name. I hope they give you the crown you always thought you deserved.

You were so small in the end. Gone was the haughty look in your eye, gone was the iron fist you were so eager to put down. I find it amusing that I used the kitchen knives you bought me for Christmas to carve you up. You always said I did my best
work in the kitchen, that was the only compliment you ever gave me. Your death was my masterpiece. If that isn’t justice then I don’t know what is.

I think about all those years that I was too afraid to stand up to you. I think about the nights when
you’d had too much to drink and I’d wake up to you climbing on top of
me. The stench of you would take days to wash off. You were always heaviest in those moments and I carried you in any way I could for a long
time. Too long if you ask me, but you won’t be asking anything anymore, will you? Nope, I fixed you alright.

I spent so much time living how you said I should live. I thought I’d never amount to anything, that taking care of you was my purpose in life. After seeing your eyes glaze over I realize how much of a coward you were. You could never make it on your own. You needed someone to prove how strong you were, keeping me around must
have been your greatest achievement in life.

The beatings never really bothered me. Yeah, that time you broke my cheekbone was painful, but it was better than hearing you tell me how awful I was. A no good, ugly woman, who couldn’t fuck, was a lousy housekeeper, and never knew how good she had it. An ungrateful bitch that no one else would want. That last part stung the most. I believed you then, part of me still believes you, but at least I’m open to the idea that you may have been wrong.

The other women in your life
didn’t bother me either. I knew they’d catch on to you eventually and you’d come
crawling back. I dreaded hearing the front door open. Dreaded you coming in and saying again how no one could love you like I could. Loneliness is a tough bitch to kill and there were times it bit me good and hard. At
least you could soothe it for a while. You could be sweet when you
wanted to. In those moments I remembered why I fell in love with you.

What finally did it
was something I didn’t fully understand until later. I bought that miniature clock years ago, it was the only thing I’d ever gotten for
myself. I saw it in a catalog and I saved up for it for six months. I
was so happy when it came in the mail, I twirled around in the kitchen a few times. Seeing my name on the box gave me
such a thrill I hesitated in opening it. It was mine, I had earned it, and you hated it. I cleaned it carefully twice a week
and every time I looked at it I felt like I could be anything. You came in one night, red eyes bulging, mouth slurring, and you knocked it
over. You said it was an accident, but I saw the look of joy in your
eyes as it fell. I had put so much hope into that clock and you ruined it, just like you had ruined me.

I planned your death for months. I watched the barge so I
would know its route when the time came. I knew that it passed under the
bridge at exactly 7:24 pm every Thursday. I had to wait for a
Thursday when you’d had a couple of drinks, but not enough to make you
pass out. It would have been
easier to wait for a night when you got stupidly drunk, but I didn’t think it
would be as satisfying. It took three weeks, but I waited patiently and my opportunity came.

After I had finished with you, getting you into the back of the car was difficult, but
getting you out and pulling you up onto the railing was even harder. I
did it though, proving to myself and to you that I was a lot stronger
than either of us thought. Watching you fall from the bridge was the
greatest thing I’ve ever seen in my whole goddamn life. You hit the
barge perfectly. Straight into the trash where you belonged. Yeah, fuck
you too.

Now I’m scrubbing the floor where you bled out. I push and pull the mop. Dunk, wring, splash, push, pull, repeat, until it’s time to change the water. I
know no one will come looking for you and if they did I’d tell them you
ran off with another whore of yours. You’ve done it before
and everyone has always said you’d do it again. Besides, even if they found out what I did I think they’d sympathize once I told them all about you.

As I mop you fade from the floor and with that I want you to know something. I fixed the clock you broke. It sits on the television set like it did when you were alive. I want you to know that I’ll be using it to keep track of the amount of time it takes to fix myself.

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I Tried to Keep Us Warm Between Rounds

I Tried to Keep Us Warm Between Rounds

I learned to expect the worst from you.
And you buried my feelings in the deepest parts
you could find.

The way your teeth chattered
in the cold
was a representation
of how we were.

Violently touching,
then pulling apart, an uncontrollable motion that left us both sore
and unstable.

My God was bigger than yours
and his hands were twice as mean.
He did not hang his head in guilt
like I did.

I’m not sure why you put me up there anyway.
You knew how afraid of heights I am, and how I can’t trust myself when asked if I’d jump.
And the ground was a lot harder
for you to hit
than it was for me.

I’ve always known
when I’ve been beaten.
And you used your mouth
like it had been dressed
in the finest gloves that money could buy.

You didn’t see the one-two coming. Didn’t know I was capable of letting go, or how I could loosen your strings
to make the blows less painful.

And I wonder if in that moment
the stars you saw
shone as brightly
as my eyes.

Hold Steady

Hold Steady

Along the length
of your spine I find strength,
an inner courage exclaiming
that I am no longer alone

My limbs once too heavy,
have become light
at the sound of the pulse
beating at your throat

What a strange and pleasant thing
to have found
a soul that shines
as brightly as your own

I give thanks,
say a prayer, and turn over,
knowing the moon
will guide you home

“As if you were on fire from within, 
The moon lives in the lining of your skin.” -Pablo Neruda

When the Last Stop is Unexpected

When the Last Stop is Unexpected

it does not come

screeching on its wheels,

throwing sparks on rusted tracks,

with its doors laid open,

a banner hung on its pilot,
half fallen, that reads:

“abandon all h…"

it comes silently
when you’re tucked in,

between the comfort

of a makeshift bed

and the resigned breathing

you’ve spent endless nights
memorizing

and the sun will rise

as it always has, only,
this time its light

will be honest and unkind

you’ll sort through

the wreckage you’ve created,

sharp, painful, once beautiful things,

now twisted heirlooms

nobody cares
to fight over