My Mouth

My mouth is an instrument

An instrument that plays

Without a bow to engage it

Or hand to pluck it

Or a finger to press it

Or a palm to beat it.

All I need is the truth to sing.

Backed Bruises

You remember that night

You were playing fake sleep while I

Dialed 911 to keep dad off of his feet

Pleading

to get his hands off momma

I screamed

When he put his cracked hands around her soft throat

And the life inside of her seeped out her body like the wind finding its chilling cold air to seep through my coat

As he charged for me

I screamed

I was nine

Calling nine-one-one wasn't going to stop the wild beast that let loose that night

Putting hands around my back like I was arrested for a crime committed for loving

Then his knee dug into my spine it was then I became numb to the pain of shoving

He left a mark

And I believed that to be love

Walking out the door with his wrists meeting together was a love story to me...

Bruce Jones

I believed for you be a man of toughness

so tough that you were never there

but thank you

for the last name

for giving me my DNA make up

I now search for men like you and him

tough

and bold

I cried tears for you in the sanctuary

the day I would read your obituary

nonexistent

thirteen

life as I knew it

Domestic

She gave life when she didn't have to

and I always held him in my arms because momma, you were tired

Momma, you were dying

and no one realized it but me

It hurt me when we would walk in the store

Together

People questioned

"Is that your son?"

No

Momma, did you want to experience the birth of him?

Sacrificed life

To give it

You are a woman

I follow in your footsteps

The day your footsteps left the earth

Cooking

Cleaning

Raising

fifteen

didn't get to experience teenage years

but that's okay

I figured out a way how

I hope you still love me

Now

I longed for your touch one last time

Momma

Where are you?

I need you

I don't want to be

Momma

My thoughts

Sister, what was I supposed to do?

Like Mary, there was no room for me at the inn

So I had to move to find me a stable

Place

To live

You probably hate me

But that's okay

You will soon understand what it feels like to choose between family and destiny

I still love you

But I can't live

Words unspoken that will never be told to you

I will still be there for you and him

Sister, you've got to be strong

For him

For me

For yourself

Resilient

eighteen

Move

Forward

Men

I wonder if you know the cost women pay for loving men like you

Moving cities

Buying Mustangs

Cutting my hair

Selling my clothes

Moving houses

Losing family

Losing money

I wonder if men like you know the cost I pay for birthing men I could never keep

Crafting boys into men

But can never withhold

I tried not to be like momma

Abused

I'm sorry for punching you that last time

It was wrong despite the circumstances

I guess that's why I took that last punch

I keep you in my life because I yearned

Love

Just by that one touch

I pray my sister never bumps into men like you

Destiny

Sister, I pray you hold onto your faith

Innocence

Love

Perseverance

Like I wish I held onto mine

Holding extra work shifts at a bar

Scarred

Seeing wrists meet each other by cold chains

From the one I thought I loved

I barely see you

Because I know that I'll break down

My life shows you

What you can be better and more

Hold it

Twenty-two

Peace