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

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

Himrod Street

He smiles like grease.

A crater by his eye like his skin was sampled

by a teeny tiny spoon.

He hides his shame behind long bronze hair,

but is still brave enough

to hold my hand.

Knuckles like marbles – maybe rocks.

Boy was a real heart throb.

Or more like a heart attack.

No amount of Ajax could

rescue this fourteen year old girl

from cutting Spanish class to walk down Himrod

hand in hand only to get home and

not talk on the phone

with Mr. Vegas in the background.

 

– Rachel R. Vasquez, 6/1/2015

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No comments here. Just memories of a fourteen year old girl getting walked home by her boy. 🙂

I still feel like I can work on this more. For now, it is what it is.

Missing me

I miss me

and I don’t know why.

Had I gone somewhere?

Had I ever left?

Who’s been living in this vessel?

If not me, then who?

And what of my soul?

My heart?

An impostor? A doppelgänger? A body snatcher?

Who dare slip into my skin and devour time without my permission? Who dare live so wastefully without my consent?

Here I am a decade later – feeling as if I’d hit my head and can’t find the last 10 years. Can’t see those years. Can’t feel them anymore.

Apparently I’ve misplaced some things, including myself along the way.

I need to find me again. Because I miss me. A lot.

 

– Rachel R. Vasquez, 5/7/2015

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Once again, no deliberation here. Just have a lot of feels I need to get out these days…

Lost Brother

Lost Brother

Sometimes I want to hug a man I don’t know anymore,

but he’s still ripe in my nostalgia.

I can almost feel his boney frame encasing my own uncomfortably.

Wood knocking –

except he was more like lumber while I was more like twigs.

Towering and looming –

felt like shelter. Felt like safety.

The closest to a brother I could ever have as a brother-less woman.

There was strength, ease, and most of all, no pressure. No innuendos. No assumptions. No judgement.

Just our branches tangling in a completely love smothered gesture.

Sometimes, I have this urge to hug him,

but I don’t know where he is anymore,

because I no longer know him.

 

– Rachel R. Vasquez, 5/6/2015

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There was no thoughtful process involved here. Literally wrote this up within the last few minutes and had to get it out of me. Knew a guy in high school that was like a brother to me – not sure how we lost touch throughout the years, but I’ve come to realization recently that I really, really want to see him again. And hug him. The last pictures I have of us together, we’re hugging.

I miss that tall skinny jock. Damn it…

Untitled

Like tryna’ to catch water.
Could never win, no matter how much I fought her.

A pointless carousel, I watched it dissolve.
Those revolving doors,
couldn’t take it anymore,
as they took us round and round,
and I wound up a deserter.

Couldn’t pretend, couldn’t float on the deep end,
felt like an accessory to murder.

Whenever she defiled her worth, didn’t matter what she deserved,
but I couldn’t weather the rewind.

Had to repeat history, had to re-loop misery,
Couldn’t remain blind.

I tried to be hero, tried wise mediator.
Instead I became a powerless spectator.

Maybe my shoulders weren’t strong.
Like slow motion she willingly leaped off
into an ocean of sharks.

Like rolling under a the wheel of a truck.
Like running through a fire.
Poking an electric socket, she was dead set on drowning –
Wired.
No matter the life jacket, what advice she gets,
the only place she could live
were those thorny roads I abandoned.

When a part of you gets gangrene,
you cut it off.
There’s nothing more helpless
than loving one who doesn’t love herself.

And so I swept it under the rug.
Saved myself even though it hurt.
Had to release her from my clutch because I loved her too much,
and I was done being burned.

 

– Rachel R. Vasquez, 3/12/2015

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I once had a friend who was more like my sister. She was a part of me, but she was no good for me. And she was no good to herself. Sometimes when you love someone, you’ve gotta let them go. It’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my life, and sometimes, I miss her… I hope she’s out there, and I hope she’s finally learned to love herself.

A Country

Somewhere in me,
a country rises,
of cobble-stoned roads,
street lamps like raised eyes,
3 panel windows on brick,
of blown glass, wind chimes, and freshly baked bread.

Somewhere where it’s winter.
Somewhere I only find
when I’m taken from everything else.

A man I don’t know,
but is the type only I could ever truly know
on the other side of a barely cracked door split to show
heavy wooden furniture, sofas and curtains,
answers in a defeated tone to his cynical father,
“She’ll probably go back when the winter’s over anyway.”

I know he means me,
but I’m not sure where it is I’ve come from to return to.

He has dark hair that whips in the front the way beaters fold cake batter,
glasses, a long sleeve sweater on his long arms –
red.
I push the door open with my breath not being the only thing I leave behind.

Dusting a layer of snow from my red coat,
I tell him it’s cold outside
before inviting myself to his flank.
If he was surprised,
he only let it slip for a moment before he secures me against him with one arm.
Warm.

Does he know I heard?
A shop owner,
a woman I apparently know who knows us,
but only him individually,
asks him a favor to which
he answers with a grumble.

He looks at me look at him
and changes his mind.

“Let’s go.”

The kiss is as quick as the dot of an exclamation.
I’m not sure it happened,
But my face senses the intrusion and bares teeth.

She gives me that look.
The, “I know you’re staying whether or not it’s winter forever,” look.
Out in the winter,
my coat and his red scarf,
he reaches for my cold fingers
before country sinks again.

I open my eyes to the
winter that hasn’t gone,
but I’ve left against my will.

 

– Rachel R. Vasquez ?/?/2014

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