january 23, 2017

i was raised by a single mom,
a fiercely independent single mom who,
and she still does at the age of 60,
will build, fix, create, remodel, and rip apart
no matter how many times i tell her
“sit your ass down!”

i was raised by a single mom,
a beautiful machine that never broke who,
despite having a father in my life for
far longer than most can say,
was always covered in sweat, coated in grass,
sawdust sprinkled in her hair while simultaneously,
wearing her pantsuits and working to support us.

i see her in myself more times than not,
the way i have to do everything on my own
because i don’t trust anyone to do it for me
or maybe the way i’m terrified of commitment
because that means i have to depend on someone else.
in my mind, in my heart, in my soul.
sometimes i just see her in my smile.

i was raised by a single mom,
a phoenix constantly rising from her ashes who,
and she’ll say it’s a curse,
made me the person i am; who
is the reason i’m more than the phoenix
i’m the fucking fire.
pe

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january 19, 2017

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I, my dear, am afraid

of the cold hands of darkness
that are all consuming
and leave you without
seeing, breathing, existing.
it’s far too quiet.

of the vast blue sea,
the way it extends beyond
even the brightest of minds
crashing, pulling, drowning.
it’s far too deep.

of the imminent future
in which we’re supposed to simply know
who and what we will be in x amount of years.
careers, marriage, children
it’s far too many expectations

I, my dear, am afraid of the unknown.

-pe

autobiography, 2017

product of an alcoholic
and genetically depressive
raised with love and care,
but exposed to adulthood
before she even knew what it
meant to be a woman.
nights spent lying awake
and listening to her home,
her sanctuary, crumbling
upon her like the edges of
her favorite thanksgiving pie.
a parents love fore their child is infinite,
they say, for each other is forever
but love knows boundaries.

second best
they will always be second best.

years spent spewing “fine” and “happy”
to whomever would listen.
how could she admit that
she hid flaws beneath her shirt,
scars beneath her skin?
every night, tucked in by the smell
of smoke and whiskey
a kiss to the forehead by the same lips
that made love to the bottom of a bottle.
forced awake by the sounds of slamming doors
broken cries, and the promise of no return.
she never got a full night of sleep.

they grow up too fast, a silly little saying
a tragic reality.
uncouthly pubescent but ungracefully aging,
she’ll have wrinkles by the time she’s legal.
it could always be worse, right?
it could always be worse.
but we’re given only one pair of shoes to walk miles in,
a single life in which
she sees handcuffs on her father’s wrist,
and tastes salt on her mother’s cheeks
and hears how she’ll never be good enough on replay.
how could she be?
how could they be
when daddy’s only love is apathy.

she’ll never be like her parents,
she’s certain before she can even drive
and then suddenly she’s in love
drunk with something she’s never felt
until he begins feeling her
and feeling her
and she’s still not fucking good enough.
in a time to be making mistakes
she stands poised, fearless, and wise
her world is so full of color while
others only see in shades of gray.
she’s already lived

before she could have a drink at the bar,
regret a night with a stranger.
before life without a curfew
or she can even buy a cigarette.
it means nothing
it all means nothing
to someone who has already
filled the pages of her book.
now she writes in margins
and dreams that it was all a work
of fiction.

-pe

 

two in four, 2016

trigger warning: allusions to sexual abuse. 

“do you know what it’s like?” she asks.
i pause. i have to.
there are so many things i want to say
to the girl
no, the client, in front of me
who is tired and alone
just looking for someone to understand.

i want to say i know how it feels
to wonder if you could have done something
anything differently —
no. stop.
i don’t want this.
but i said those words didn’t i?
it’s all so hazy.

i want to take her hand in mine
and tell her everything
how it happened to me
over. and over. and over.
because how could i know what was happening?
‘don’t you love me’ loops in my head
day after day.

i want to pull her into my arms
and say i know it all to0 well
the pain
the disgust with yourself
and that it’s funny to feel like the filthy one
when you never chose
to play in the dirt.

one in four
one in four
one in four, the books all say.
but there are two of us in this room.
i want to scream
yes i know!!!!!
but it’s not about me.

so i say,
“i’m very sorry this happened to you, i’m here to listen.”
-pe

Continue reading “two in four, 2016”

baby’s breath, 2016

baby’s breath, 2016

 

how long will it take to convince you
that you are wonderful?
you are perfect.
you are flawed.
but they make you
more human,
more real,
more beautiful.
i will kiss you a thousand times
for every fault you wish to hide.
and when you show up at my door
with flowers that aren’t flowers
i love you so much more
than any man who carries
roses in his hands but
thorns in his heart.

-pe

 

#maybehedoesnthityou, 2016

Maybe his hands are warm and fingers soft

When he caresses every inch of your skin.

Maybe his lips are gentle as they move over yours

And he smiles with every kiss.

 Maybe his embrace makes you feel safe like

The world could never hurt you ever again.

Maybe you love him so deeply, so passionately

He is everything you dreamed in dreams.

Maybe he doesn’t hit you

But he never wants you to leave.

Maybe he loves you but you could

Lose a few pounds

you could look like her.

Maybe you work hard to create a better life

But for him, it’s never hard enough.

Maybe, he says, when you ask

To see friends and family.

Maybe you try to end it for good

But he says you’re a broken toy.

Maybe you walk out

But he convinces you to come back

Over

And Over

And Over.

Maybe you overreacted, you think

And he tells you your being dramatic.

Maybe you’re afraid because who

Else will love you like he does?!

Maybe no one will ever love you again…

They will.

They will.

They. Will.

-PE

Refugee, 2016

She plucks the flower from the ash:
delicate, so very beautiful.
When is the last time she has seen something so innocent?
How long has it been?
She cradles the blossom in her hands
As if it may disappear like her
Last shred of hope so long ago.
She can no longer hear the wind,
Feel the sun rays on her cheek.
How many times has she tasted blood,
Her own or the one’s she loved?
Cursed with visions of war and pain,
But she holds tight to her one small victory.
And as it lives and breaths,
So will she.

P.E