The Names of my Parents

The Names of my Parents

My parents are called distant and desperate


Distant doesn’t understand and never will

he does things to make a point rather than to look after his daughter

he speaks with no words, just aggression

and eats with so much appetite


it spoils mine.


Distant plays life like a game rather than a journey

every question an interrogative

and each answer a tactical statement.

I am often left on rhetorical questions.


Desperate has desperate hands that shake

hands that hold bottles of wine to keep them steady

she is a wonderful mother

she tells me she loves me every day and makes me cups of tea

she calls me sweetheart and kisses me goodbye.


Distant has worn desperate down like sugar to enamel

Growing plaque along the ridges

and breeding bacteria to chew at the teeth


Desperate can’t cope she

is more seashell than sea creature

a house rather than a homeowner

a cloak rather than a body.

Desperate is tired, weak and poisoning herself

and she is a wonderful mother

isn’t she?


Distant doesn’t believe in mental health

and tells me he can’t cope with my illness

because it makes him angry

he denies my existence

telling me my love is a phase

and my gender a weakness


Desperate is understanding and then confused

and tells me she can’t cope with my illness

because she hates seeing me so upset.

She is always too drunk to listen to who I really am

and then gets upset  because she doesn’t know who I really am


I am angry about it

and so

I am writing about it.


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