by Lydia Armstrong
I can’t sleep in someone else’s bed.
I eat onions every day.
I have OCD and I can’t stand when people touch things.
Sometimes I can’t stand when people touch me.
I don’t own an umbrella because I always abandon the things that protect me.
I tell my secrets onstage.
Sometimes I tell other people’s secrets in an effort to feel more like myself.
I have OCD and I can’t stand when people move stuff.
Sometimes I can’t stand when people move me.
I didn’t know my grandfather but I live with his skeletons in my closet.
I’m afraid of growing soft like my mother in the arms of a lying man—her heart is a rotted peach.
I’m afraid of growing spikes from my wounds like my father—his heart is a pinecone.
My parents love too much.
They love so much they had to put 75 miles between them and live in separate houses.
Men say I’m too serious except when I’m drunk in a bar and laughing and wearing a dress he likes.
Sometimes when that happens I feel cold like predator and I wonder would he like serious better if he knew he was prey.
My grandfather was a predator and I inherited his affinity for perfectly folded towels, his disease of exact.
Reasons why I can’t have a boyfriend: My bloodline is poison and the drama is contagious. I’m afraid of contaminating someone healthy.
I’m afraid of meeting someone who has everything I want and realizing he’s the version of myself I’ll never be.
I only date other damaged people with the hope they won’t know any better.
Sometimes I think being with someone would calm my mind but I don’t want to treat a man like Prozac.
It’s taken so long to be able to sit peaceful in a room by myself I don’t want to invite anyone else in.
I’m an armadillo, sheathed in leathery armor,
Alone in the desert doding trucks on their way to somewhere