My mother made a slide

show for my grandfather’s funeral,

and I would stand in silence,

observing the process, and she

pushed me aside

as if she was hiding a secret between

the words she had typed

onto that empty page and

she did not want me to look beyond the letters.


The remains of the words,

I can still see them distantly

carved into my skin,

Helga Weber
Photo by Helga Weber

leaving me powerless sitting near you.

I thought you held fire in your hands, so

every time you tried to touch me,

I always

back away

back away

back away from you.

I thought your touch would burn me

with your escalating rage.

The flames would rise, glowing in your eyes,

defeating my flesh with verbal abuse.

The release of heat

and light sparking from your

creeping chemical fingertips.


I don’t know how to swim, and

she has been tying the weights

of grief to my feet,

and I have been drowning

and gasping for one

true breath of air.

And yes they tell me anger,

anger is a secondary emotion.

It follows the loneliness



This anger is a fire that she keeps fueling.

I expand with my words

written with worry inside of lined pages, and

she shrinks me down

into a size I do not want to wear.



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