Carla Criscuolo

I think I know why
this happened. Because your mother
would never set down her tea cup and ask
if you'd like any. Because your father thought
your sister, six years older and still in diapers,
needed his attention more than you. Because
I bit my tongue red every time you canceled
a lunch date. With no one but Aristotle,
Plato, and Descartes to keep you company
in that spider-webbed room on 18th Street,
that persistent fear of silence and seclusion
metastasized, spread to your throat,
paralyzed your vocal chords, and traveled
to your lungs where air entered like chlorinated water,
in all or nothing gulps. It hit your heart,
where scar tissue left over from numerous breaks
was easily compromised. Moving with sand bag limbs
and blurry vision, fear of nothingness seemed silly
as you pulled that garbage bag over your head.
Secured around your neck with rubber bands,
you laid down and waited for your organs
to realize you were done fighting.

Carla Criscuolo was born and raised in Manhattan and claims the experience has spoiled her so badly she is not fit to live anywhere else. Her poetry is forthcoming in The Orange Room Review. She works at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY.
 © Carla Criscuolo All Rights Reserved