March 31, 2012: Things you can be addicted to. CWE 183

  1. Alcohol
  2. Drugs, conventional ones
  3. Painkillers
  4. Gambling
  5. Sex
  6. Sadness
  7. Anger
  8. Food
  9. Television shows, like Nurse Jackie
  10. Cigarettes
  11. Coffee
  12. Internet
  13. Porn
  14. Love
  15. Diet coke
  16. Affection
  17. Approval
  18. Tanning
  19. Nasal sprays
  20. Shopping
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March 28, 2012: Relief/hope. CWE 180

Relief is a clam shell, heavy with ridges, snapping shut like a grandma’s handbag. It was a long season for the clam, cracked open on a rock. Seawater washed salt across its pulpy gray body. Relief is not the clam shell opening. People think that. They’re wrong. When I am anxious, I am always open. I am a constant weeping sore. My pus leaves behind greasy oilslicks on people’s furniture. So I go nowhere but it’s not because I’m a closed shell. It’s because I can’t fucking find my hinges to save my goddamned life so I take up too much room everywhere I go. I carry the acrid smell of brine, and my shell splits like torn cuticles. My flesh pops with ragged blisters under the sun’s heat. I am rotting. And everyone knows what rot looks like. What it smells like.

But when relieved and hopeful, I slip from the grainy rocks into the dark water. My shell eases shut along the buttered hinges and my smell blends with the ocean. Not one thing about me is notable to the sea, but in my shell, I am cool and calm and quiet and my thoughts filter in and out. Funnels of light circle with tiny sealife.

March 27, 2012. Things you decorate. CWE 179

  1. House
  2. Christmas tree
  3. Front door
  4. Nursery
  5. Ears
  6. Face
  7. Envelopes for cards
  8. Cocktails
  9. Storefronts
  10. May Day altar
  11. Church altar for Christmas and Easter
  12. Christmas presents
  13. Parade floats
  14. St. Patrick’s Day parties
  15. Bachelorette parties
  16. Baskets
  17. Head scarves for women fighting cancer
  18. Deck during the summer
  19. Bride’s slippers for reception
  20. Cakes