Things which hurt in nearly a year

Things which hurt in nearly a year
by Hannah Troughton
October. Michael asks if we can still go to dinner on Wednesday nights. I say yes.
August. I fuck a man; his name is not Michael. I stare at a woman’s photograph on the mantle beside
a framed one of their two children.
June. I scowl at the sun. Dewdrops roll down my cheeks, nestling into crevices of plum stained lips.
December. I forget my brother’s birthday. I almost forget
where he is buried.
March. I hold my palm over Paloma’s hand, showing her how to slice
a zucchini, fresh from the Gardener’s Market. Blood trickles
from a four-year-old’s ring finger.
November. I don’t cry when my mother gets on a plane home to California. Her frail, thin fingers wave me away
as I stare at a 757 sauntering
along the moonlit asphalt.
April. My right foot steps over
a tulip sprouting through
the cracked cement on Center Street. My left nearly lands on
letting go of a married man.
July. I call my sister on her birthday. My words are slurred.
I hang up long
after the line is dead.
January. I interrupt a snowflake’s drift. I don’t let winter sing
its cold, soft song to me in the spiders laced shadows that dance upon our bedroom wall.
September. I forget May marked
six months since Michael hadn’t hit me.
Febuary. I stain his sheets. I spoil the milk. I sleep in too long.
I’m still in his bed. I miss three calls from Mike. It’s only 8 a.m.

0 thoughts on “Things which hurt in nearly a year

  1. Painful, in many more ways than one. The year is all out of order and missing only one month, May, making it “nearly a year.” The combination of details and images in this non-chronological scheme make the total experience both scattered and wrenching. For example: “My left (foot) nearly lands on letting go of a married man” and “I interrupt a snowflake’s drift.” It’s as though the narrator had torn up her diary and selected from the sheets days representing random months. But to have recorded such things that speak so hurtfully of relationships and oneself takes an excruciating sensibility. The poem is a gift from the jagged edge of where few of us dare to belong.

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