everything (i’m too scared to say) by Ellery Beck

I

i can see that exact day like it was just
yesterday, and my recollection of the sweat
beading up on your forehead almost warms me
like the fire did before it died out
and yes, of course i still remember
your child-scream the second
the snake (that had colors the same
as your eyes, that shined like the otters
wet fur, that same hot summer day;
when you refused to hold my hand
because you claimed yours was too clammy) slithered past
us as we looked over at the lake, as i yelled
because you wouldn’t stop chasing the wild
geese; the geese by the exit we walked
out (and that was the last time we walked out that
exit, after of course getting stamps of ladybugs
and little blue frogs) and i don’t think i’ll ever
remember what it was like before you,
because even though the thorns on the rose
you gave me pricked my fingers, i’d trade
the pain of this loneliness that is without you
for just a second of the pain that is now present,
and i’d trade all these fake smiles for the blood
(that happened to be the same crimson as the rose
as it stained the petals) on my fingertips once more;
maybe then i’d have a chance to say the three
words i craved

 

II

one time when i was just a young thing
crying and you asked what was wrong
and i said i couldn’t tell you because
you’d get upset with me like usual,
and you insisted with the just tell me’s and whatever
possibly could have been bothering me
and you wouldn’t get mad (you didn’t
really: you were just extremely disappointed and full
of your own self-righteous rage) as I remember
that now it’s just another lie you fed to me
(and ever since elementary school that’s all you fed me;
i constantly had to make me and my poor little brother
food because you had been too drunk
and mother much too busy) to add to the list,
because as i sit here now, i may not have any physical
damage but you don’t seem to realize your words tore
and there’s no bandages that can go on the inside:
because fresh in my head are the things said and they surround
you can trust me honey you would always say,
just tell me what i did and i won’t do it again sweetie,
i swear but that was far from true and while i can never say it
aloud, all i have left is one simple word
to leave you alone with (even though you will never
be by yourself, you will always have
your whiskey to keep you),
goodbye.

 

III

i have a vague memory of the night I decided maybe
i could just trust you, and i wish it
never had happened; i saw
what you did to them — tore them
apart, ruined them and shared secrets not to be
known; yet i told you everything and you said
i swear i’ll never tell, this is between us
and I wish I could’ve called bullshit from the start
because all you did was ruin me like you did them
ripped me down piece by piece, but now
i realize you were only ever at fault,
i may have no sympathy and maybe it is all about me
but one thing i know is that you’ll never make me
as low as you, you and your
calloused hands, with dirt caked fingernails can pull
at the skirt i wished was a size smaller, but i’ll just brush
you off like you brushed off any regard you had for me
when you let it all out, i mean, i can’t blame you,
it probably was absolutely horrible knowing
that while you act like you may have your own issues,
someone else has actual issues; and while you’ve hurt
me beyond saying,
(and while your harsh words may have stung worse than
the blade you pulled against your skin when your
middle school girlfriend dumped you) I only have two
words (and consider them the last you’ll ever hear
from me because this is officially it),
thank you (or fuck you, i haven’t decided).

 

 

 

 

ellery beckEllery Beck lives in Salisbury, Maryland. She’s been passionate about writing since about fifth grade, but she didn’t refine her skills until later in seventh grade. She attended Maryland Summer Centers for the Arts last summer, and ever since has been striving to do more with her poems. She likes listening to her grandfather’s vinyls and tissues with lotion in them.

 

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