Scissors

Scissors

When you cut me from your life,

did you use scissors?

 

Did you cut carefully

like I was a curving,

challenging,

stencil?

 

Occasionally I feel like

a frayed ghost limb

from a thoughtless tear.

 

Maybe I was creased first

before you casually

pulled           me              apart.

 

Tugged. Me.

With the same soft swipes you’d use

to shoo dust off your loved one’s cheek.

 

Did you use a cookie cutter?

I’ve felt shaped differently since.

 

I don’t feel you balled me in your fists before discarding me,

but I feel crumbled nonetheless.

 

Did you commit my calligraphy

to memory?

Recalled our childhood and chronicled

all we had,

held me to your heart,

before you severed us?

 

Whether you shunned me away into a

water-stained box, full

of your childhood knick knacks, waiting

for your hands to wrinkle to be

treasured again,

or tossed me into the same wastebasket

of shredded due dates and credit card offers,

I still have to ask.

 

Did you have the decency to use a pair of shears?

Once they said we were cut

from the same cloth.

Yet I still feel the ripping

from your bare

clenching hands.

 

– Rachel R. Vasquez, September 2017

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Please. Don’t come home to die.

Please. Don’t come home to die.

Please. Don’t come home to die.

My primo, listen, I’ll tell you why.

 

Imagine the gut wrenching screams your parents will have,

When they have to ID your body from a body bag,

Found in an alley, needle in hand,

No will, no testament, to the life you lead.

 

You wanna choose hood over blood,

But tell me little cousin,

Who will choose your coffin?

The wood of your casket,

Your flower arrangements?

 

You tryin’ to quiet the racket in your mind with poison,

But who will choose your last suit and tie?

 

Please. Don’t come home to die.

 

Don’t drown, don’t wither,

Don’t go, stay steady.

Don’t go preppin’ your obituary.

I left church years ago,

but I’m praying you find sanctuary,

For your weary heart and broken past.

 

Remember the albuterol mask on your face as you slept,

The comics my father gave, that you never read,

The brands on your back that your mother earned,

You were my chubby cheese club before you drank burn.

 

Death only stops kindly for those who don’t stop for death.

Don’t go rushing to be laid to rest.

Your parents paid school and paid rent.

Both made mistakes, not gonna lie, not gonna pretend.

 

Neither can claim they always did you right,

But they’ll both weep loudest once you’ve left for the sky.

 

So please, don’t come home to die.

 

You can hang your mantle,

You can share your burdens,

But don’t let them dismantle the life you’ve built.

 

Don’t matter the clique you roll with

Or the titles.

Don’t let the tides hold you in it’s grip.

 

I won’t say it’s easy,

But I want you to try.

It ain’t simple but please.

Don’t come home if you’re trying to die.

Come home. To live your life.

 

– Rachel R. Vasquez, Oct. 2017

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 

Be wary of the streets – they can take your family…