Why You Always Slam the Door
Blame strong arms, the wind, your hurry to be someplace else, right now, before you change your mind and stay. Blame your voice, soft at first, gaining volume with each phrase. Blame your words, telling me to fuck off because I told you I believe in God. Blame your need to always have the last word, even if it’s a “Sorry!” thrown over your shoulder before the door bangs into the jamb.
Why You Can’t Go Home
Blame it on the room inside you where you hid from everyone but yourself. Blame it on the day you come home from school to your dad yelling that God Our Father will teach you a lesson, his breath rotten with righteousness. Blame it on your scream that no true god would lock his child in a room of shame. Blame it on a mirror, revealing a twisted face that needed shattering. Blame it on your fists, your feet stepping away from broken glass.
Why You Never Say I Love You
Blame the shadows, days that start with yesterday. Blame it on words, ancient tricksters. If you say it, your voice will stand in the room, waiting for an answer. You’ll have to stay, and if you stay you’ll have to listen. You’ll have to open a door without breaking your heart.
Phebe Jewell’s work appears or is forthcoming in numerous journals, most recently Flash Boulevard, Drunk Monkeys, Your Impossible Voice, The Wild Word, New World Writing, SoFloPoJo, and elsewhere. A Seattle teacher, when she’s not writing she can be found laughing with her wife or hitting a heavy bag at her boxing gym. Read her at https://phebejewellwrites.com.