Goodbye Forever

1 February 2017

I am a prison of my parents’ devising –
marijuana, red wine, cocaine on the esplanade
Dad making mum carry tackle and rods at 3am
so as not to rouse suspicion
from the fishermen that line the water’s edge
like clothespegs

My new favourite emoji is the hole
but his would be a mountain
my understanding of him still so primary school
tied to his profession – his death still
a two dimensional oval shape
in an alphabet of other two dimensional events
like a fish negotiating hostages
sex hands
sloppy Italian finger kiss

I’m literally dying here, but that seems selfish to say
as if it’s not happening to literally everyone else
who isn’t already dead
as if a heritage of bad emotional clockwork
can really be called a prison
as if it’s not like comparing
a two dimensional black oval
to a multidimensional black hole tearing apart space
so inconceivable in its terribleness
that when I see it in my newsfeed I feel less
and less
and less
the feeling of it swallowing the feeling of it
until my throat looks like –

My father put the fear and awe of man in me
that men are large and mighty, silent
and unfeeling, their boots made of harder stuff
their shoulders knocking snow from branches
the way a whale swallows krill
so, I decked my heart out in lambswool
I decked my heart out in a beard and leather moccasins
and let it live for six months in a cabin
writing the breakup album of the year
and when that didn’t make me any less a woman
I picked the next man with a heart decked out in lambswool
and fell into the holes left by his steel boots
spines in my shins – but still

We all know Bluebeard was a bastard, that’s the point
and so was my father, in both senses
though he loved me
and called me lazy

I am not mighty
I am a two-dimensional rock collection
scrapbooked from an encyclopaedia of semi-precious stones
I am a bird foot impression in fresh power
harder than I look, and cold
I am getting dressed up like a purple Elvis
and going out on the town
with an American internet lesbian – you cannot stop me
I do not need my father
or his father, who abandoned him
or his grandfather, who abandoned his mother first
to tell me you are all terrible – even the good ones
I have seen the dope-jawed tigers of Tinder, the hanging fish
with sambuca pooled in their eyes, I have seen you sit there
as she clears the plates away each night
easy as swiping left
easy swiping right

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