It’s easy to never leave. Anything I need can be delivered.
Nexflix to watch, Amazon to read, groceries dropped off for a small fee.

You say I must go out, be part of the world.

You say I have friends, should have friends, or will have friends depending on your argument for the day.

You tell me people interact, they build bonds, tribes, families. Come out you say, to a movie or a play. Let’s go visit this person or that and pretend they’re happy to see you.

Put on a nice dress and a smile. Nothing is prettier than a smile.

You list out my virtues, telling me all the reasons people like me: brains, humor, talent, imagination, compassion.

But your logic is weak. It’s based on people being reasonable and stable. It relies on them choosing simple over complex, and easy over exciting. You think other people are rational like you. You think they value substance over form.

I was thin and pretty when you met me. I was full of excitement and energy. I wasn’t afraid all the time, every moment of every day. I had big plans. Today I was supposed to be a CPA, a senior accountant on my way to CFO. I was going to wear nice suits and go to power lunches. I wanted to be a mother.

Instead I’m an unemployed cat lady in her pajamas peering out the window, checking all the locks.

You fell in love with my heart, which aside from the lack of courage has not changed. You fell in love with how much I love you, and love me for how much I love you still.

This me happened in slow motion and backwards.

Frame by frame, a butterfly goes back into the cocoon.
A beautiful garden becomes an empty lot.
A confident woman becomes a frightened child.

How is it that when you look at me you still see a butterfly?



This was written for the trifecta prompt Weak -3: not factually grounded or logically presented

I am 5 days into taking SSRIs for the first time. It is not supposed to do anything yet, but I feel horrible. My anxiety is way higher than normal, I feel alienated and depressed. This poem or prose, or whatever it is, is not very good but it is what I felt like doing today.


riot gear 3
Black pants, black shirt, riot shield, helmet, baton, gun, nametag hidden behind black tape. Lights reflect off your faceplate, obscuring your features. You’re not a person to most of us on this side of the barricade. You’re a mindless stormtrooper taking orders from corporate masters. You’re a soulless robot, a nightmare, a monster.

You’re not an individual. You’re a force, a wave of fury, violence in motion, one cog in a machine, one bullet in a gun. You attack, impersonal as a hurricane.

You don’t see us as people either, do you?

If you did, you’d see my face reminds you of your sister; my hands are like those of your first love. You might wonder what my favorite food is or if I have any pets.

I think about who you are, not just because I want a name to tell my lawyer after you burn my eyes or bloody my nose.

Do you like superhero movies? Do you have kids? What sort of house can you afford with thirty pieces of silver? I know the average pay of cops here. If you live a nicer house than mine then you don’t spend much time there. You work a second job. Are you the man who sits in his squad car at the Chinese place I like? Did you smile at me last week when I waved, balancing half a cardboard box of fried rice and moo shu?

If you weren’t going to punch me and zip tie my hands together, could we be friends? Lovers? Would you laugh at my jokes?

We are teachers and students, nurses and firefighters, social workers and foster kids. We want to change the rules so everyone has a fair chance, so no one is a slave to a meager minimum wage paycheck or dies just for being poor.

If you banded with us, would you be able to go to your daughter’s recital instead of standing in line against Americans just like you?

Written for Trifecta’s weekly prompt word.

BAND (verb)
1: to affix a band to or tie up with a band
2: to finish or decorate with a band
3: to gather together : unite

The picture is from http://www.pghcitypaper.com/, and I think the photographer was Renee Rosensteel.