Give Up

It’s only when you’re around
that I become my own nemesis:
pendulous whispers in a darkened
hallway; dust settling
on the sideboard; two eyes glaring
petulant at the back of your head.

Everything I say is a bird shot dead,
the bird falling into a chasm, the shot
echoing across the field and you
feeling me up in the back of a parked car
while rain curtains the windows and
my phone vibrates from the floor and
across town families sit down to
dinner with lamps blazing
against a Tuesday in December but here
I’m that glass-jawed bitch, eggshell child
hopes dispersing in dead air.

You always told me to give up
on dreams that didn’t end in -ing
so here I am, fucking you
and fighting myself and
afterward: a dark room, rain
sinking into the grass, your tail lights
disappearing into the cold, dead night.

Catherine Friesen

Catherine is a writer, editor, and illustrator living on the side of a mountain. Their work has been published in a number of online and print journals, and their debut chapbook was recently published through Bottlecap Press. When they’re not writing, they can be found baking cakes, singing to their plants, or getting lost in the woods. You can find them on twitter (@catiswriting) and instagram (@junesprout).
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