You always preferred a clean kitchen.
I watch out the window as day slips
on her black dress and begins to flirt
with the evening sky.
I wonder what you’d think now, if you
were here to see the way bottles line
I have placed them in straight lines, at
least, and I know you would appreciate
the juxtaposition. You always did care
for order. For a standard of perfection I
could only ever trail behind.
There is quite a lot of them now.
135, to be exact.
One for every day since we last spoke.
One for every day since you ceased to
exist to me.
I use the corks to plug the bullet holes in
my heart you left to bleed; you’d think I’d
have known better than to allow a fully-
automatic weapon like you into my house.
But slow learning runs inside my veins; the
legacy of women who have come before
me still trying to prove they are worthy of
the love of a father who only ever wanted
The last yellow light settles in the kitchen.
The bottles capture it, throw patterns on
One day I will have enough glass
to crush these bottles into sand and I will
fill my house with ashes of you; squelch
it between my toes and imagine myself
on the holiday we always planned but
The one we said we’d spend days on
the beach absorbing alcohol and sun,
and nights we’d spend fucking against
walls, against doors, against the apathy
we swore would never be found beneath
the layers of our skin.
I wish it had been apathy that had caused
our destruction; a silent cancer that would
have sucked the marrow from our bones
until we’d have had nothing left to care
with, and could have just faded inside our
voiceless grief. Instead our graves lie
scrawled with the blood of the rampage
that had lain dormant inside you for long
enough, buried beneath the ocean of
sorries that never quite reached your
eyes. You always held rage inside you;
a force of nature that could never be
anticipated or predicted.
You always told me it was my fault.
I started to believe you.
Bottle 136 rests in my hand.
I let it fall to the ground and watch it shatter.
The glass is not soft like sand, but pointed
and jagged, like the eggshells that would
cut my feet whenever you were near.
I press my toes into the glass.
Blood trickles onto the floorboards and
I am relieved to find I am alive, after all.
Perhaps affliction is better than apathy.
I tell the walls you are dead to me.
They still whisper your name.
~ ©️ Kathy Parker ~
The Unravelled Heart, a profoundly true reflection on trauma, abuse, love, loss and healing, now available worldwide on Amazon http://amzn.to/2BIvFhp