It’s a long time since
I let this black out back out, redacted doubts in love letters open their toothless mouths;
I gouged your name from my conscience like the same bad case of gout

I wished on your
two legs that
would beg for every step; neglect your
happy retirement
for crippling
needles and pins, as you would pant and cringe, that every single limb tremor would make you remember the clothes iron touching my skin. I hoped secretly you would apologize vehemently to thin air, have to get so drunk you fall out of the chair, menthol cigarette outlasting awareness, and as a final bit of irony, complain about unfairness.

But where to start with a true tin heart?

Do I begin with the affair, my mother’s disrepair, that you demonized her, digging up old dirt and stoking my hurt, making it worse? ‘Cause look, bitch, I would have said then, I’m articulate now. I could tell the
world how
you packed me up and
shipped me off to
a prison of sorts, a five star fort that
eventually shut down for shit like
assault and sexual

Of course Dad was clueless, but you had
just the right shade of ruthlessness. I spent how many years asking how parents could do this? It ruined, like, ten years, an entire decade where I was smoking every strain of fucked up, getting the most bang for my
emotional buck, pushing my
luck to ruin myself just

I wanted
to fail in all
the ways
you always said
I would.

But it’s all good, Heather, because I met someone who suits my life that much better. She taught me some things aren’t meant to be grasped. Her eyes told me to forget the past, your heart has long escaped that blender,
and it’s helped me
weather the
sins of my father,
surrender to something

I’m a marauder to metaphors, borderline, self-centered, but I’m capable of forgiveness because honestly I’m sick of this, being a habitual offender to guilt in this jail cell of cards I’ve built.

And you’ll call
me a liar, no doubt, since apologizing is more dire, acknowledging you sired a monster. He may devour your flower’s stems but you’d never allow its petals to wilt. I just thank God you were never
someone’s mother.

That would have
been truly


3 thoughts on “Stepmom

  1. this…. nah, i’m not even gonna try to use words to describe how hard this kicked me in the gut, thank you for sharing these words, that’s the best I can come up with right now, just thank you.


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