For Mishka and Stuart Hoosen-Lewis
Obligations of family, the victory falls on us,
it feels like it did when I was little, it feels as
if I’m slowly dying inside. I think that I’m only hurt
by all of you, you, your mother, sister, brother.
I wish I was dead. No longer amongst all the living.
The air is filthy, the rags are filthy, the passage of
swimmers, assault on the ears, the men, the-
(my heart is breaking just for you)
the soldiers, they all seem to think, and feel,
and see strange things. The scar must always
be professional. Wash clothes, hair, clean
bedroom, take my anti-depressants. I gained
so much. He paid me attention. Nobody paid
(my arms are open just for you)
me attention like he did. He doesn’t think of
me, distraught and going to pieces over him.
Nobody loves me. That’s my trouble. The
victory falls on us, obligations of family, yoga
today was excellent, blue imprint burned on
(I began to build a world of my own)
my brain, I was in my element in his halls and
corridors, I appreciate how you raised me.
I linger in the Southern Hemisphere, I am
the dead intimate, the dead poet, the dead man,
the dead woman, I’m origami, I’m habitat.
(and I filled it with ex-boyfriends)
I think of the orphan men, the cat ladies dancing
with all their cats. Intuition like fear is just
like an illusion, and life can carry you like
purpose. If only I could see you now, missing
the war, you must remember my breakdown.
(I don’t need advice on relationships)
I know who’re you sleeping with, and she’s
beautiful in all the ways that I’m not. Maybe
I’m hetero-, or Rasputin, or William Styron.
I figured it all out. I was high and low and
every little thing in between the truths and the
(I don’t need to have physical pleasure)
white lies. Being in love makes you seem a
little crazy, and you can’t seem to think in a
straightforward manner, you can’t seem to
see the stars for the moon, the daylight for grace,
the mercy seat for a life that I wanted for myself.
(There’s blood, sweat and tears in my writing)