A Thank You Card

CW: violence

by A. Marie Kaluza

I take a swing at you and miss;

we are fighting over something frivolous.

You are sprinkles of glass and

my mouth is smoking, there is a telephone ringing and I am singing you to the gallows like fa­la­la

look at all the pictures in the frames they are staring. I topple a bookshelf and all the earth goes caving.

You say, You are angry, and I laugh so hard, for I am not angry—I am anger. I have lined hearts up on spits and smoked them,

shoved them down gullets. Fed them to unsuspecting houseguests. No one gets out.

These doe eyes are dens, serpent feasting warrens, that seek out weak parts to poke.

On every kind word I choke; I do not know how to be what you call civility. I only know what was

taught to me: a g i l i t y.

You do not know when I lie. I have convinced you I lie in ways I don’t. You do not know my jealousy.

I have convinced you I am beyond such trivialities. You sometimes know my dreams, because I can not hide cold sweats and thrashing limbs and this grinding jawbone and these screams.

I plunge myself into the freezing bath and you come home to find me blue,

a statue with no name. I bang my head against the

wall and you say, Stay. You do not let me have my way. You take the bad memories and you cut them up.

I howl all morning and you whisper,

Hush now, pup. I lunge against you and roll and writhe and toss all the pots and pans outside and you simply go, Shh. You treat me like a wild thing now, and you are right to do so.

No sudden movements. No eye contact. No foul play.

I rock back and forth the days away

and when I wake you have dinner made and have set the table and you set me down and swaddle

me in a blanket and send me to sleep, you make me weep. You cut me straight up my gut and force me to spill all the rage out. You cup my face like one cups

water in their palms, you kiss, you hold, you fight, you are silent as a cold night. I don’t know when, but one day, way back when I did somehow bend. Back then I called you everything.

Anything that would have left you bloodied.

Now, I simply call you friend.

A. Marie Kaluza is an emerging poet and the author of several short stories and ebooks. She is a featured poet on the site Poet’s Corner, and has been published in literary journals such as Ampersand Lit and Streetcake Mag. She blogs regularly at Larkspurhorne.net, and when not writing, she can be found perambulating the streets of her current city of residence, Seattle, WA.

Photo Credit: elise.y via Flickr, All Creative Commons

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