Elise Forslund | 3 Poems
Litany of My Humiliations
after Erika L. Sanchez
I spent my thirteenth year as a pillar of salt. Sitting on the dining room table, unshaken. In the winter, my hands bleed and my mother gives me something to cry about.
I swerve to step in puddles of my own shame. I cut holes in my socks and feed them to feral dogs. I pick fights with my sister just to hear her scream. I’m terrible on purpose. Which is to say, my deepest fear is being forgotten. Every night I lie down and let my brain cannibalize itself.
What I want most is to be a monster.
This poem is written after Erika L. Sanchez’s poem, Poem of My Humiliations.
The Margaret of My Margaret is Also My Margaret
Here lies an utterly true account of my family.
The mother of my mother is also my mother. Her name is Margaret. The sister of my Margaret-mother’s mother was also her mother. Her name was Mary. My Margaret-mother’s second mother was her sister, Birgitta, and her first Margaret-mother was actually Margaretha.
I’ll say it again. I have a mother named Sara and we have a grandmother-mother named Margaret who has a mother named Margaret and an aunt-mother named Mary. My Margaret-mother has a Margaret-mother who has a sister-mother named Birgitta and a Margaret-mother who was really Margaretha.
It certainly feels like the End. In a balmy daze I wander as a lonesome Einherjar. I need to be more careful, listless warriors are always at risk of finding some poor dog to unchain. I’m looking for a mangy canine who will open his mouth for me, so that I might crawl inside and make him a wolf– thoroughly lupine and chomping at the roots. It certainly feels like After.
Elise Forslund (they/she) is a queer writer from Georgia who finds particular joy in folklore, history, and esoteric metaphors. They frequently write about mental illness, discordant familial relationships, and queerness. You can find Elise on twitter @elise_forslund.