My Newest Haunting

Author | Jasmine Bell

He became my newest haunting
the night I saw him heavy on the pavement -
manic tears and scraped knees
the day before his 21st birthday.
He’s caught in my rearview mirror:
a shivering pile of apologies,
pleads for mercy.
Driving away, I hear over and over again
the confused whimpers
"the why are you doing this to me"
his hands gripping my window
the thump of his body to the street
as he’s forced to let go.
I think he’s just now finding
that bending things to his will
will sometimes make them snap.

Or maybe it was before that.
Maybe it was when he cried for comfort
and all my tears boiled wildly within
screaming like my mother’s kettle.

Or the first time he claimed to have fixed it:
the second time,
the third time,
the fourth time.

Maybe what happened is he loved me so much
he unzipped my spine.
Maybe he crawled inside
decorated the walls
swept the dust
and claimed this home for his own.

Or maybe I loved him so much
I picked at his scabs
Knowing, but trying to forget
that it would make him bleed.

Or maybe we were cursed the first day we fell into each other
too eager to find the one thing
that would make everything okay.
Cursed because he found it in me
And I found it in myself.

bout the Author | Jasmine Bell is an emerging poet in Austin, Texas and currently attends the University of Texas with plans to major in psychology and minor in Mandarin Chinese. She is currently co-president of Spitshine Poetry on UT's campus and leads poetry workshops every other week. In 2015 she was a member of the UT Spitshine slam poetry team that went to CUPSI, where they placed 13th nationally and won the award for "Best Writing by a Team". She was also part of the Spitshine team in 2016 and will represent them in 2017. She has written one chapbook ("The Tears of Genesis").