My daddy taught me not to think and love.
When I stopped being a child, I started drinking.
I waited for trains every night,
throwing my weight (what weight?) on the track marks on my arms.
Constructive assholes sheep-whistled at my wolf-heart.
They taught me everything else:
Do not indicate when turning left.
It’s not like you can do anything right.
More instructions- listen! learn!
No, don’t scrawl silly poems in the margins.
You don’t need a manual?
How are you going to read a man?
A mirror? Give your reflection a message:
get off your fucking highway.
Swallow every letter of his name.
Strap it on.
Wrap your legs around this cliche.
I listen to her breathing,
the scrapes of her ceramic mind as she scoops spoonfuls of grey sky.
I want to tell her about mistaking a fat lip for a kiss.
I want to tell her about Gordon’s palm-prints sitting on my neck,
-midnight bruises, twilight violet-
but I can’t because our daddies didn’t teach us the same things.
Still, I hear her in my head, sunny South African whispers:
it’s alright to pretend you’re from Venus sometimes.
Be river, not lava.
Rip up that god damn manual you think someone gave you.
You would be a better listener if you stopped taking notes.
So unclench that claw, stop hiding behind the pen,
stop running in the endless loops of your cursive.
Let’s undo what they did to us.
This poem needs an editor. If you don’t mind being paid with tequila and positive energy, please apply within.