Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Anneslee Poems: Break

Jack Daniels permeates the air
as you stumble into the couch,
a chair,
the counter –
anything in your way.

You throw punches,
then words,
then look to see
the damage done.

Bone to bone,
I feel my face break
down to my toes
as the flesh of your flesh
splits and tears in two
like my heart.

You bury your fists
in me –
another version of you –
until the fuel burns out.

Two bodies on the floor,
but only one
will crawl out of here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Anneslee Poems: Mother

They cut the cord
when they pulled
me out,
but wrapped me
in chains
and handed me
to you,
a little doll
for you
to dress up
and keep
forever.

The chains
tightened
with every breath
as you held me
fiercely
against your chest
and told
the world
I was everything
you’d ever wanted.

I grew
around the chains
and became distorted,
nothing like
the daughter
you wanted
when you
dreamed up
my name
and bought
pink party dresses
that don't fit
me now.

When did you know
I was
never
going to be
good enough
for your love?

Was it my first breath?
Was it my first cry?
Was it my first word?
Or was it the moment
the plus sign
said I was real?

Some women
should never
have children.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday Sorrow

I miss you, 
especially on Sundays - 
your favorite day of the week. 

I hope you're in a better place 
and proud of me. 

I carry your words every day, 
but sometimes 
it just isn't enough. 

Sometimes 
I need more - 
a second helping of love - 
but there isn't any left. 

We just have this one life 
and today 
it isn't enough.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Anneslee Poems: War Badges

Our mothers
were best friends
and
relationship
arsonists.

There should have been
a warning:

Bridges Burned
After Crossing. 

But we crossed
after them anyway,
following their steps
and dropping lit matches
behind us,
never learning to stay
where the good is.

They're professionals
at leaving
messes
wherever they go.

We never thought
the fire would touch us,
but here we stand,
holding burned hands
and watching
them run off
without us. 

We're lucky - 
not everyone
who touches
their fire
survives.

We wear our scars
 like war badges.
It's all we have.



Monday, September 1, 2014

The Anneslee Poems: The Girl on the Page

I read the words
on the page
and I am the girl
living among
the syllables.

I am she,
she is me
but she is also you.

We are all the same

in print.

The Anneslee Poems: Savior Without a Saint

I’ll be the one
you can
hang your hat on,
throw under the bus
and blame.

I’m the perfect
scape goat –
I won’t go anywhere
fast,
so you can get away.

I’ll be your whipping boy,
I’ll carry your heavy load.
I’ll draw the shortest straw,
I’ll cover you and take the blows.

Give me your sentence
and I’ll serve it without a word.
I’ll forget everything I could’ve had,
let my life be lived deferred.

No one has to know
that it was really your fault.
I’ll shoulder all the blame,
I’ll be guilty by default.

But don’t think for a minute
that I will ever forget
this burden is yours I carry. 

The Anneslee Poems: Relativity


Your smile snakes
across your face,
eager to prove
there’s something more
that binds us
than blood.

But I know better.

I know your secrets –
the ones you only tell
yourself,
hold close to the chest,
pray to Jesus
no one else
finds you out.

But I did.

I saw you
flat on your back
on my bed
like you owned the place,
smashing your face
and body against his –
a man too short
with hair too dark
to be the same man
who gave you that ring
on your finger.

These things
are hard to understand,
you say.
Adults make strange
choices under circumstances
I could never imagine,
you claim.
I hear you.
I’m listening.
But what you’re saying
is nothing new.
Your words cannot skew
the images burned in my mind.
I’ve seen you –
undressed,
savage,
waiting to be ravaged
and this is what
I understand:
you are not innocent.

I know your secrets
and no amount of blood
between us
will make me forget it.