Cloverfields

On my sixth birthday, you gave me a chapter book
with a pressed four leaf clover on the eighteenth page
because I wanted to be beautiful when I grew up and
you wished me the best of luck.

When I turned twelve, I was far from halfway pretty and
your book had too many big words for me and
I cried inadequacies through its bindings and
read my first novel in freshman year.

Turning sixteen was bittersweet and I hollowed
your book out with the knife some guy gave me
because it was my book, dammit it, and
thick enough to hold a jumbo pack of cigarettes.

My eighteenth birthday tasted
much less like cake than vodka and
I opened your book to find Marlboro deathtraps and
my six year old counterpart would have hated
the stench of my breath and my time-stained hair—
she would have hated me.

I am sorry I slashed away all of the many
words you left me with and
I’m sorry I didn’t turn out quite okay but I was
born into a line of bad luck and it would take
acres of four-leaf clovers to
make me beautiful.

The End

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