Living Off a Teacup Full of Cherries.

the first thing was the mattress. it was filthy. it had no bed frame and no home except the dirty floor it found itself on, like some dead animal in a road drivers keep passing by. "road kill," we say, like it's funny.  it was early in the afternoon and the sun was shining through the windows crudely, that day was playing show and tell and the subject was me in that crude sunlight on that dirty fucking mattress. but that day, for me the subject was you, this animal  hungry you, fiercely forced, covering the tiny glowing beam of light i called my life. you were  rough, everything was bearing down over and over between the sunlight. this heavy, heavy you, unyielding and sweaty and breathing hard with nothing at all in your eyes i could not hate and right there i became nothing. not even a tiny little voice or a whisper in the room even though i know i was crying out loud. the dirty mattress was halfway covered by an off-white sheet strangled tight around one corner. the rest twisted sloppy and confused into the  middle of the thing. i knew how it felt. the sheet. there were times i swear i couldn't even tell the difference between that sheet and me. 
time had its little ways with me and i suppose its a bit funny because you did too, in that god damn sunlight, so did you. besides all that, more than anything i think there was the spit. i was covered in your spit. you licked my whole face, my whole face, while you did it. while i was crying you were covering me with all those juices your body makes for your mouth.  there wasn't a spot on my fifteen year old face that wasn't covered in your spit and the tears i was crying. both were so salty but i could still tell the difference between the two. the smells of you and your mouth and hands and all your spit were sharp and massive and everywhere.  i wasn't given anything else to breathe in, i slipped out from time and circumstance from under the wetness and that heavy smell. i remember clearly that it wasn't the way a lovers spit should feel or smell at all but the opposite. it was hell, saying hi, dropping in. shady strangers, poison, hunger, it was me becoming a ghost because you had your hands around my neck. i thought of the the sheets and the way we are never supposed to stare directly into the sun, ever, and how small i was becoming under all your weight, your chest and tummy with the hard, hard hair, stubbled from shaving. it  scraped and scraped roughly against all my soft, my ivory blood, over and over and i said no and i asked you to stop and you said nothing, you never said anything, you let the drops of sweat fall onto my skin, i believed in hell. the whole soft-pink honest life i kept in my head was never anything, never soft, not  anymore. i went unheard, my words felt razor-sharp and sad coming up my throat, the "no's" that came out were for nobody, the air didn't even respond, it was busy closing in and getting hotter. maybe the sheets heard me but not you, you were busy taking something until you knew nothing would be left. roadkill. you were far away and i was bleeding but you wouldn't see me there, in you room, on your mattress until you were finished taking it all. in eighth grade my english teacher signed my book for graduation. she wrote, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" to this day i do not understand, or i do, but the answer changes. i want to ask her why she wrote it in my book, i want to ask her things, get to the bottom of the sound. 


Why I'm Pale

please, it was my grandmother not me. its been her all along though i guess i'd really never know for sure since she has never touched my hands or ever braided my hair, but you have to believe me because i just know so you can't give me any of that praise because it was her all along, i've never ever been that flying source of light or the thing that saves you in your worst nightmares.
 she drank old school manhattans and always had a radio on. she forever kept things very clean, always spotless and my middle name is the same as her first. sometimes i pretend that this makes me a flower but only sometimes, when my brain will allow it. her finger-nails were always perfectly polished a deep, bright red.
sometimes in my bed late at night i'll fall asleep while writing, flush-cheeked, flashlight still lit and my legs vulnerable and unprotected outside any blankets. i drift off and forget about loose sheets of paper and almost always my pen, which leaks slowly while i sleep, the ink of which the very same deep bright red as her nails. and around the blankets in the morning light, on the sheets, the ink looks like bright tiny spots of blood but i promise its just ink but its the same difference, really. to me its the same difference but anyway never mind all that because i mention blood too often, at least that's what they'll probably say, all of them. 

maybe my grandmothers lacquered crimson fingernails could be mine, i wish they were mine. in those moments i use them to press into my wrist or my thigh and scratch hard up the rest of the skin, hard enough that drops of blood peer out at me just like the ink on the sheets. let me make my hands hers or i can trade my blood with the nail-polish-shade ink or i can clean and make things shine until i am that flower. but please. don't forget it was her first, without a glimpse of me or my heavy hurt-skin moments, it was my grandmother not me. my grandmother was a lily, was a femme-fetale she was hit by a car that was going backwards and her daughter gave birth to a maybe-lily with the backwards-moving crash stuck inside her blood, me cleaning until nothing is left. she was in a coma for awhile before the end, dreaming about something that no one can ever explain to me. they buried her with a radio.