compliment

 

somehow when he tells me how sexy i am

it doesn’t feel like a compliment

it feels like an explanation

like a justification for why he’s fucking me

for why i’m in his bed this time…

but i swallow his words the way i try to swallow him, that moment

choking against my tonsils

the confusion scraping against my teeth

he mistakes my moaning, my gagging for

acceptance

he doesn’t realize that when i say

oh baby, when he’s saying goddamn woman,

i’m really saying

i think you’re sexy too –

and i don’t mean that as a compliment

 

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved

hangover eyes

You always have hangover sad eyes in the morning

I’m left trying to figure out me and how to respond

Do I feel guilty for providing my body –

another one of your vices?

Do I feel shame you can’t wake with the same glint in your eyes

when the vodka is gone?

when you see me next to you in the morning?

Do I feel embarrassment

you find me sour like the hangover that plagues you all day?

Maybe I could take your sweet nothings you whispered to me while we fucked –

sew them into the lining of my purse

Maybe I could photograph the way your eyes lit up last night –

tint it into sepia for the faded and timeless effect

So when I’m filled with doubt and

my own bitter regret

I can pretend

this was a timeless affair

this was an aftershock for both of us

this was real

imaginary

it’s hard not to think of all of this as anything but imaginary

the way you pulled me in so damn close… but never wanted to stay near

the way you inhaled me and took your time sizing me up like i was a feast prepared just for you

the way you tried to convince me as much as yourself there was more of you to offer, somewhere, and you’d find it if that meant i would stay

it’s hard to be anything but sad and confused

the way i’ve waited for you to find me

the way i’ve longed for my body to be etched into your thoughts

the way i’ve been patient and forgiving of all those before you – to make space for you

it’s predictable the way it all disintegrated, like it was only partially real anyways –

the way a lucid dream is both dreamlike and real-life colliding in the night

the way ghosts only haunt those homes they once occupied

the way a seedling can sprout but never fully bloom

 

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved

insomnia

to me, insomnia is just another word for creativity… a way for the words stockpiled in my double chin to finally be freed… i overuse ellipses when i’m sober…. and apparently when i drink too. they are like a metaphor for my brain… because it never stops. no thought is ever complete but a series of ideas and hurts and wants strewn together endlessly … relentlessly. and i’ve gotten a little lazy in my capitalization and i’m wondering if this is what it’s like to find your voice… to let the words come out unedited and punctuation a way to stream it all together, poetically, haphazardly – delicately insinuating whats beneath the surface… whats beneath my surface? that’s too personal a question to ask and i don’t think i trust you {or myself} enough to reveal the real sides of me… because maybe the facade isn’t as protective as i thought and maybe if i keep typing – you, someone, anyone … might figure out what’s really going on… and then what? what if the real me is too messy for you to handle? my eyes are magnetic, i’m magnetic i’ve been told, but that’s the facade, right? because when i don’t sleep and my hair is more rat’s nest than wild curls and my intense need for reassurance…. constant reassurance is not really that endearing but a glimpse at what i can offer… a scarred heart half beating, a thinning body shaking in the morning… the food leaves my body almost as quick as i can shovel it into my mouth … so i short-hand that now … its really just a matter of practicality and when i smoke too much at night, theres no one here to judge so it never really happened, right? the way a tree may or may not make any sound when it falls and no one is around to hear it… no ones around me to hear me fall so do i even make a sound now? i don’t know… i know the way my lungs feel more like a heavy metal urn than life in the morning, the way your eyes fill with regret when they see me lying next to you… the way we both make secret, repeated empty self-promises when you leave… i know the way i rationalize your distance, your departure… the way i rationalize why i keep saying yes to you even though i know better… because at this point in my life i do know better, the way i know sleep is important and smoking is bad for me, and the way i know i don’t need to say yes to the next drink, the next fuck, you offer… but i want it too, right? that’s what i say at least. and my answers, my responses and apparent unending acceptance of you are but a few of the thoughts that circulate through my brain and keep me awake…. but truth is – i was real fucked up long before you came around and i really don’t care if you try to take some responsibility for my old vices popping back up… because maybe that guilt keeps you away… and i do want you to stay away because at some point, i’d like to finally sleep again and eat again and no longer wonder why you didn’t fall fully for me like the way you started to… was it because your fingers got caught in my tangled hair too many times? was it because my vices fed your own and you know you’re not strong enough to get better with me in your life? was it because the way i twist words and string them together did little to move you, to wake you? maybe it’s because you knew from the beginning you were only interested in slivers of me but i offered all of me, too much of me – my body and my scarred half beating heart on a silver plate like if i served enough of me up to you, you might eat me whole and i could finally disappear…

unmoored

every bone inside of her unmoored from her skeleton

she left the flesh he no longer wanted on his doorstep –

it no longer fit her

it no longer owned her

he took the pieces he needed

mortared and chiseled her down to fine dust and cast her back over his shoulder like she could bring him good luck

like she thought he could bring her good luck and salvation

like her flesh and bones were never strong enough to stand tall on their own

like he was an anchor she needed to withstand the storm he brought

her discarded bones and unmoored flesh twisted into a sailor’s knot she leaves behind on his deck

she lets the sail rip through the wind

she sails

she flies

she sets free herself

 

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved