empathy

A Poem About How My Parents’ Divorce Ruined My Life

Artwork by  Kyle Thompson

Artwork by Kyle Thompson

My parents fought for custody today. In the living room.
They, us and we were the judge, the witness and the verdict.
My parents divided us today. While some show about poverty played on TV.
Girls with girls
Boys with boys
They gave actual, physical form to a division of 22 years.
Girls with girls.
Boys with boys.
They get whiskey.
We get puff.
My parents fought for custody today. In the bedroom.
Custody over right and wrong.
They beat their fists at walls, since we were raised not to beat our own.
We beat our heads at walls, since we were raised to hate our own.
My parents fought for custody today. In my head.
My parents raised blaming fingers. Geographically fixed to point at all.
Since i was 12, maybe 13, the same year I became a woman, girl in dreams
I was taught how to read the ‘your fault’ in every hello.
Since 16, maybe 17, i taught myself how to twist that long, muscular, manly finger of his and point it right at his face.
Since 20, the same year I became a grown woman, woman in dream
I grew sounds I didn’t know the human body can make
I grew whispers I didn’t know the human body can bear
I grew bitterness i thought came as one got old with life and age.
Since i was 12, maybe 13 I learned how to hate the men in my household.
I learned to hear the syllables studied in psychology as superiority.
“We are men”
“We are blessed”
“We are holy”
Since 16, maybe 17, I learned to never show that my stomach ached from the pain
That i could literally,physcally,hear my heart pound in my ear.
That guilt and anger and misery and exhaustion very often interfere.
Since 20, I taught them i was concrete.

My parents fought for custody today in the living room.
My parents divided us.
Right with right
Sinners with sin.
Since I was 12, maybe 13, the same year I became a man, I saw the outline of her body.
Since 13, maybe 14, I heard what other men tasted when she walked by.
Since 14, maybe 15, I learned why they were off our ribs
I learned that they got us kicked out
Destined with death.
Since 16, maybe 17, I first grew a sound that came out coarser than in my head.
Since 17, maybe 18, I first felt
our fists beating each other down.
Since 18, maybe 19, I grew a body not even him could stop.
Since 20, i saw how maniacs conjoin in crowds.
Since I was 22, I packed my unborn and tried to leave.
Since I was 29, I regretted following my fantasies.
Since I was 9, I tried to end it right here.
Since  I was 14, i wanted to repair those inferior to me.

“You intoxicated him, my own blood, my own air, he thinks im as little as you think i am”

“God, guide our way, she’s sinful, she is the incarnation of the deadly sins, no the devil in flesh and tight jeans”

“Behave – you’re a woman in a man’s world. Westernized broken girls who weren’t beaten the way they ought to be”

Submitted to ArtParasites by C.