Perfect Daughter Award
If he were to have a daughter, she would be
beautiful and bold, with night black hair
and eyes, and she would always be freezing
cold, perpetual goosebumps. She would know
the names of tools like they were her children
and she would own no clothes with holes. She
would be strong like an ox and would shine in
the sun. She would adore the color blue and
going to the beach in a yellow bathing suit.
She would play with all the animals and at night
dreams, and then things would become in slow motion
and she would watch the animals burn slowly, mouths
gaping, eyes wide. And she would not feel saddened
in the morning by these dreams, only invigorated
and awoken and believing that this dream was a signal
of a bright future. And she would not feel saddened
in the morning because she would be drowning
in the morning, in the little sparkling iced things
outside, perhaps the ocean’s salt all over her, the
scent of cinnamon, stabbing the fruit of the lemon tree.
If he were to have a daughter, she would play the piano
and take the entire piano apart and put it back together
for fun. She would have had perfect manners, perfect
eyesight, and perfect grammar, and would be finishing
up medical school right about now. Until she dies she
might see a million human hearts up close, but never the
faces, never the faces. Her teeth would be perfect and
white like little sugar cubes. Her skin the color of
some type of olive, dark and ripe. And her hair always
shining always wet like a car. She would have dreams of
Rome and Greece and impossible things like world peace
and the burning animals. She would have dreams to be an
artist, dreams of frozen pink cherry trees aflame, dreams
of you, and dreams of me, of everyone and everything.
Three times a week, I
drug myself into a coma,
to finally get some sleep.
I check myself in officially
as an insomniac who is allergic to
television and wheat. I
check myself in because I
can’t make it on time to
day treatment, and I
hate the smell.
In the silence
of music therapy, they force me
to eat trays and trays
My tongue distorts
your black & white hair,
your white collar,
your tears and the way they taste
sliding down your puffy cheeks.
I never could find you
when they finally let us
Samuel Clemmings met me in the
hallway at night, after
lights out, after
I had nothing to give him.
But the clothes on my legs, and
maybe small bottles of hotel
shampoo or secrets like the suicides
that happened on my bed
and on my walls. He tells me,
it is going to be okay, go back
to sleep, and I do.
My musician boyfriend and my mother
call me on the phone, but everyone
has forgotten me.
I am okay with that.
And continue spitting big words
into the trees, hoping hoping they will
accept them as leaves. Walking away,
I know they rejected me like a heart transplant.
Every time I looked in the mirror,
a vicious beast
that lept onto my face growling. I screamed
to get him off, and he would,
taking the flesh-mask
of my skin with him. For weeks after, I would not
look at anyone. I wore
to cover my face
After 8 days,
the government came,
and took me away.