Love and Other Drugs

The first time 

I saw love 

Was through my grandparents 

My grandfather cooking 


With a cigarette 

And my grandmother 

Cooking supper 

They would sit in the same room

Reading together 

And it was just a feeling of safety…


I remember the first time I woke up in the middle 

Of the night 

To go to the bathroom 

And stepped on something wet 

In the carpet 

It became sticky on the hardwood floor 


And then I saw our father 

Just watching tv 

And he said something about 

Our mother being sick 
I got up later 

Around 4am 

And stepping over more …

Dark – heavy blood spots in the carpet- leading to the bathroom-

Opening the bathroom door …

there was our mother 

In the floor 

She told me to get her some water 

So I did 

A few hours later she was still there 

And our father was still watching tv

And I told myself this was perfectly normal …

That somehow he was taking care of her…
The first time you tell yourself this

You really know 

Nothing about this is ok 

And nothing about this is 


two days in the bathroom floor 

Or 4 days in bed 
Years later 

I would Force that same bathroom door open 

She would hide  behind me 

And he would  pin me to the wall 

I remember when she finally left …

I remember constantly praying 

Until I didn’t feel so nauseous 
I remember when 

I saw our mother happy 

And remarried 

Washing dishes 


And cooking together 

I remember later crying 

Because I had never seen that before

It had never even occurred to me 

That it was anything that could be done together or romantic 
And years later 

After all the sorting 

And all the sifting 

And accepting 

And understanding 

Even now 


I get so nervous 

And I wake up 

terrified that 

I will somehow 

Look at her like that 

That I will somehow slip 

Into insanity 

Or madness 

Or unlock all of those doors 

And I lie down 

And I want to touch her

I want to but I can’t 

And I have all of these flash backs 

And then she pulls me close 

In her sleep 

And my skin 

Doesn’t feel like glass 

And I can breathe again 
It’s no ones fault 

It’s just the way it was 

And these memories 

Are reflections 


Like our mother 

When someone watches two ball games at once 

They flare up

And we have to kill them again 

It gets easier

It took me years to see it 

Abuse is abuse 

And we all wear our scars differently

But I remember what love looked like 

And I am reminded of it well 

When we cook together 

Read together 

Sleep together 

And when it rains 

And we stay in bed 

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