He called me a fucking idiot that night,
And I didn’t start screaming like the day
I told my father I hated him after calling me brain dead
for locking him out of the house.
I vowed that anyone who insulted my intelligence
would be pierced with arrows tipped with a venomous glaze,
and I didn’t want to forgive my father back then.
I wanted to forgive the man I was about to marry.
And I did.
But not before I drove to nowhere,
debating whether to stay at a hotel
or sit in a bar until anything with a pulse
agreed to take me to more nowheres.
I left my wallet at home.
Could have gone to a friends’ house
and let them see what I refused to look for.
Instead I ended up parking in front of an abandoned pool
on the opposite side of my complex.
Staring at the tufts of grass and weeds breaking through
the concrete, and the chipped, pale blue of the pool’s floor,
I saw a child run then fall and skin her knee.
I saw her dive as if she glided into a life
where algae only grows where you can’t see it,
The water is the right temperature
for the hot or cold of the day,
the concrete leaves your face unscathed
when you swim too far down with eyes closed.
Her eyes closed mine and I wondered
why I stopped diving the way I did.
Why now do I leap head first
into empty pools of shit I’ll never change?
Why do I swan
right into what compassionately turns me
into flayed skin and ashes?
I should have kept driving until I hit the beach,
let the weeds of my mind entwine
with clouds of seafoam freedom.