Posted in MENTAL HEALTH, relationships, writing

The House on Lena Drive

I wrote this poem over eight years ago, about the night before my then boyfriend left for rehab. I never felt comfortable enough to share it until now, so consider it a golden oldie.

Tonight, I let you hold me instead of just running away.

And for once, I actually try to understand it

How did I get here? 

Versus question it – 

Why am I here? 

I try to be natural, fluid –

Consciously remind myself to relax –

But I don’t know how to do this and it shows.

Tonight, I try to be soft. Open. Receptive.

Vulnerable to you. 

Lovely for you.

I so badly want to be unafraid

So badly want to believe you

So I will try. 

I let your mouth cover my own sarcastic one 

Let you touch my hair, my eyelashes, my throat – 

Force myself not to flinch in shame as you push the blankets aside

revealing my flaws and my inexperience.

And while you move inside of me

I take the time to study you – 

Not the projected you, who is so boastful

So damaged and so damned – 

But the boy that you make such effort to hide – 

Not so angry now, though – 

Not so tough

Almost beautiful, even

Strange how I never noticed before.

Your eyes are half-closed but they meet mine still 

in this momentary vulnerability, in this union that is so new to me

so routine for you –

I realize how much, despite everything

For all intensive purposes, I do.

It has gone from night to morning in what seems like no time. 

And it is unspoken, but looming –

the elephant in the room. 

And finally I cant wait anymore 

The clock reads “time” & my bones say “go”

Strange how this is the first night

That I don’t want to leave

And also the first night 

That I can no longer stay

The quiet thud of your arm against the mattress 

as I slip away from you

Painfully, shamefully naked, I struggle into my clothes 

Blue jeans over too-full belly, thighs, hips, shirt tugged down protectively  – 

Your arms tucked behind your head as you watch

Casually smirking voyeur who has seen it all before. 

I quickly thank God for the darkness.

Now that it is time to go, a million things that I should have said – 

an alphabet soup of words flooding my mind 

but I can’t choke out a word, and why? 

Because now I might mean one of them, and it would be too much. 

Instead, I kneel at the edge of your bed

Bend over, my hair a curtain of fire that I tuck behind my ear

I take your face in my hands with a strange sureness – 

Yet I know that if I spoke now, I am weak, and I would cry 

So instead, I kiss you once, twice, three times –

I still have no idea if I can even stand the thought of you, yet

You catch my wrist, entwine fingers with mine, and it is too much. 

It is all I can do to pull away before I burst into flames. 

I turn at the door, words caught in my throat

you are now perfectly nonchalant, illuminated in the blue white 

Of muted reality television. 

“Don’t worry”, you say with a shrug. 

“I wont,” I lie. Of course I will. I already am.

The last thing I see as I pull the door closed 

is the flash of the cross around your neck

The spark as you light a cigarette

I tiptoe in silence through the living room

The Christmas decorations are ghosts

Shadow Santa, graveyard manger 

Slip on stockinged feet in the kitchen

10 pairs of shoes at the door. 10 pairs –

And mine. As out of place as me.

The questions again – 

What were we ever doing here?

Mail scattered across the table that you hate

I need to forget this place and these little things

That I’ve begun to know about you 

I need to breathe – because I realize that I stopped 

when I closed your door.

Outside, the sun is starting to rise 

My breath, returning, showing in spurts of cold air

The car is quiet, calm – my familiar getaway and sanctuary.

I stay for awhile in the driveway, letting the car warm up

watching the colors of the morning rise over the horizon 

as I try to decide. 

Then it is time to back up, up, and away

And leave behind

Everything I never knew I wanted –

The house on Lena Drive


I'm a 33 year old mortician and cosmetologist who is currently battling lymphedema after a gnarly spider bite. I am fat, wear a lot of makeup, live with my mother, brother, and three cats, go to Disney World a lot, and am undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder, depression, OCD, anxiety, and pre menstrual dysphoric disorder. My head may be a mess some days, but my heart (typically) means pretty well.

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