How could I have accepted someone so flawed.
I ask myself this with the understanding that it didn’t start the way it ended.
Like he, I found myself to be a misnomer to life, and young, believed in the sprightly truths
of turning 28 when he was turning 39. I loved his age and the wisdom I thought came with it.
I didn’t see the drink clearly. And when I did he didn’t like it.
And because I did, I tried to unsee it. I wanted a family, for better or worse.
But the weaponry was above my pay grade. The psychologies
darning needles were cultish ideologies: no vaccinations hissed mother
and daughter, after that they snarked with supremacy about not trusting
higher education, common sense, conspiracies,
and griped when I suggested that humility is a virtue.
(Today, their perspectives would have been seen as QAnon material.)
Ultimately, the crime was that they deeded themselves better:
Two high priestesses of the crestfallen dynasty, always on display
with pride-smiles across placid irretrievable shapes.
I was grateful and beleaguered by the time they changed their minds.
But only after they used me like a bank, as did he.
And he bought all this drink. All these pills. All this technology and software.
All these clothes. How could I not see what bestowed
our scudded ground? But it’s because I’ve experienced
the sanctimonious self-regard too many times to count.
It was true the misogynies she charged
and there was vanity of equal stature:
there it is flapped in books and in mirrors and its salacious anger slaps all faces—
but it’s due to the insults her father spatted: words snaked into our lives.
That flew out of his mouth when I tried to hold them back,
but drunk on scotch and his scrimmage of self-loathing he scuffled
them to her and she recoiled into fractured mutations.
I understood because I was sunken into my own.
In the end, I believe nobody meant very much to each other.
It was evident in the way all the alienation was set up to
anchor her to one side. So he burned it down, and I tried to tack it
back up with fabricated sticks. He was an angry spirit set up to lose.
And I was in everyone’s way but I thought I wasn’t.
My new therapist instructs me to let go,
as did my old therapist who knew us all.
They say this is a re-wounding: to have never been really heard
To be treated like I hurt them both when, if they understood,
their pain led me along with its broken rope of magical thinking.
I have thought now our family is no longer real.
The blinds are thick horizontal shutters that keep me in my place.
Now we are all in this plague and acrimony bleeds from the government
portal. My forehand and all this historic paramountcy make me rage
but I am almost done with it now. The past is a record, a parting, a settlement.
I hope to stay away from people who are malleable and whose ideologies
rest in those superficialities that skim addiction and its uniting vanities.