September 2002 / Volume Three / Issue One
Linda Wandt
Snapping was the best thing I ever did

Iíve been too many things
for too many people-
tried too hard for too long to make everyone happy,
hoping for love in return,
trying to make it all better, selfless to a fault
    just a child

pushed into skin-tight alien caricatures of myself

      dutiful daughter,
       silent victim,
       punching bag,
         surrogate mother,

Bitter, resentful,
I tried to be predator instead of prey,
but I couldnít bring myself to eat the innocent
              to keep from being eaten.

So I tried to disappear, stay silent, invisible
I tried to burn out my emotions
but discovered they were already gone
I tried to find god
in his house & under rocks,
lived by strict rules (fasted from life)
I prayed but
not even god could help me
or I wasnít worth his time
so I looked in myself,
I prayed w/ small mutilations, desperate words scratched into flesh...

I never found forgiveness beneath my skin for who I was,
but razor in hand, fascinated by the proof of my existence,
I found something better.

I assembled forced fake smiles in bulk for a discount-
to be distributed at even intervals
during normal business hours
to avoid arousing the suspicion
that my sanity was only a mask
Iíd been taught to keep quiet
So I did.

Each role grew in complexity,
piling one on top of the next,
smothering in density-
  choking on the inertia of mass

it was an emotional suicide
breaking through the body, the mind
destroying both, in tandem
locked in my room in my parents house
my first night sober in nearly a year
smearing my blood on the wall over the bed.
I collected a small bowl full, accidentally
by smacking my face into the wall
to see if I could feel it

Hating what Iíd become

I tore myself down
to build on my own terms
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