I don’t tell them about the time you were supposed to pick me up from school or the payphone or the answering machine or how I walked home dragging my abandonment behind me like a limp dog. I don’t tell them how it was the day before junior prom and we had plans. We were going to pick out a necklace to match my dress. I don’t tell them how the front door was wide open, the dining room chairs knocked out on the floor. How I carried a knife upstairs as if I was brave enough to use it. Don’t tell them how I saw you on your bed and I thought that you were dead. How I lifted your forearms to see if you finally opened them. That I knew to check for your pulse because it was something I saw in a movie once. How the red hair stuck to your sweaty forehead—a river of blood. The bottle. The pills. I don’t tell them how my brother’s pictures were a quilt of grief around you. How we left the door unlocked in case he ever came home. I don’t tell them how my voice hollowed when I called my father. How he waited in the car outside the jewelry store while I grabbed any old necklace off the shelf muttering this one, this one’s fine. When new company comes over, I tell them my mom is great—can’t wait for you to meet her. What? Oh no, it’s just me.
I’m an only child.
Megan Falley is a full-time writer, performer, and a two-time winner of the Write Bloody Open Book Competition. Her first full-length collection of poetry After the Witch Hunt was published in 2012. Her forthcoming collection Redhead and the Slaughter King is slated for publication in Fall 2014. Falley was featured on TV One’s Verses & Flow, a television show dedicated to showcasing the best in spoken word. In 2012, she represented NYC at the National Poetry Slam as part of the LouderArts Team. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rattling Wall, TheUncommon Core, and a party of online journals. Falley teaches an online poetry course called “Poems That Don’t Suck,” dedicated to improving the craft of aspiring writers. In 2012, she toured the US and Canada for 100 days in her car, reading poems. She lives in Brooklyn with a dog named Taco. Visit her online at www.meganfalley.com.