by Wren Donovan
Dear girl who wants to write,
What are you willing to sacrifice to learn to break
to fatten to starve, to look at to talk about to live with.
Your pain is big in the dark and small in the light, are you willing to lie
in the crawlspace to bruise purple-black and blue-green to
feed on your own brittle spirit at a formica tabletop
covered with atomic stars covered with orphaned coffee cups
brown stains circling waiting sitting in a kitchen alone but never
alone enough. (I was born just a little too soon or maybe
too late.) Wait, lucky living one
will you claim another mother
one who feared the birth of monsters one who
suffered in her confines and yet burned right fucking through.
She burned she raged she rested in the crawlspace when it all became
too much. Don’t feel sorry for yourself you little bird you’re fiercer
than you want to be and she was more than suffering more than icon
more than cliche more than sad girl she was fire and ice.
Her illness and her gift were not the same although they were conjoined
combatants or accidental twins, or maybe just coincidental.
Now you possess some freedom and fluoxetine and dance
and your poems have “potential.” Don’t you hate that word?
Keep writing, girl. I answer (Yes) but
send help if you can.
Wren Donovan lives in Tennessee. Her poetry appears or is upcoming in Anti-Heroin Chic, Harpy Hybrid Review, Green Ink Poetry, Dillydoun Review, Cauldron Anthology, and elsewhere. She studied classics, literature, and folklore at Millsaps College, UNC-Chapel Hill, and University of Southern Mississippi. She reads Tarot and talks to cats.