by Elliot Anaya
Captain Hammer says, home is where the heart is so your real home’s in your chest
I guess that’s why I’m never completely convinced I belong anywhere.
This is not a treasure chest Given to me at the completion of my quest,
It’s a chest of drawers stuffed to the brim
With my sister’s less desirable hand me downs
That I can’t seem bring myself to get rid of
I’ve always hated the cut of the dress.
The line of the neck transforming itself
Into a noose tied loose enough for me to pretend not to notice
This casket of clothes, buried skeleton in my closet
I’ve been meaning to air out.
But I don’t have the money to hire a cleaning crew
And once they find the bones they’ll know
All about the girl I murdered in the basement of my breasts
I had to– we could breathe at the same time
I cut out her lungs to make room for mine to grow
Pink new flesh A fresh start in a creaking old house
Full of empty echoing rooms haunted by her memory.
I can see her ghost in the attic of my eyes
So it’s no surprise that sometimes she flies out onto the front step
Passing through my picket fence teeth to let out a high pitched wail
Unless I lock the front door of my lips and throw away the key
Keep myself like a secret and her ghost here with me
Here I am hero,
Here I am martyr,
Here I am bartering with myself
For resources I never had
And I’m supposed to be glad
Me, shell-shucked turtle
Slug, not snail
Hermit crab only ever finding new homes a size too small
Where my voice still manages to boomerang against the walls
And smack me right back in the lip, the chest, these hips
Call me hero no more
Call me villain, call me
You only ever called me hero to lift your own name
It’s a brand new day
And all I need to defeat you is to show you what it’s like to feel pain
And I’m okay with sacrificing my Penny
Her ghost can keep living within me
And no, I don’t feel bad about killing her
She wanted to die.
And I finally know what it’s like to want to live
Elliot J. Anaya is some weird queer squiggle who likes campfires, bacon cheeseburgers and poetry. They’ve been going to poetry slams since October of 2013, but began going to Rain City Slam shortly after moving to the greater Seattle area in August of 2016. They hope to help foster a sense of community and of connection at Rain City and hope to give to slam the way slam has given to them.