July 12th, 2019

dear sodom, dear salt pillar

friend, you delight in the doom of your recurring dreams. love, you orchestrate this city nightmare. we’ve identified the issue, evacuated the innocent: there’s nothing helpless here, nobody left to save. no body left burning but mine.

once I thought this could be the place; but, I learned, heart-shattered, skin sagging, that only the young and beautiful thrive inside your mouth.

once, I called this place cathedral, ignored the glass & blame & broken windows. you keep a princess in your see-through tower, & I, miserable at your feet.

women like me, tired with teeth, are ghosts & graffiti scrawled, are condemned buildings, are the dumping ground foundations that feed the dreams that cowboys dream: foul play at the fountain of youth, a tragic addiction, indeed.

once I thought I’d die like this: old and lonely, unadorned. But, now I see a new way out— I may never be as beautiful, you’ve never called me innocent. & yes, my exit plan is unromantic. But, if growing up will save me, this time, I’ll take it. If solitude is a pill to swallow, I’ll take anything to prove alive.

I’ll take whatever left, every piece. I’ll take what I can, in tact and otherwise. I’ll take the names & accusations, every last one: what your brothers call me, what your silence leaves razed. I’ll take my name: more wisdom and song and siren than your mouth could hold shut.

& out of this waking nightmare, I’ll run—