Content warning: allusions to addiction.
I want to build a life
made of wood beams and red bricks,
touch up my personality
with a splash of gold paint.
These sorry bones are not brittle. These walls
have been barraged by catapults and have not
I patched my roof with online purchases,
sealed my foundation with indulgent things,
tried my best to burn smoke for warmth.
this would not keep out the damp,
but it’s tough to care about getting wet
when you’re drowning.
Being a person is work.
Work is hard
when you’re half a person.
Someday my soul will be watertight.
I will shake off the storms
like droplets of dew
on a lion’s back.
Yellow tape gone,
greased latches open,
light streaming in.
Construction always takes
than they say it will.
About the author
El Bentivegna wants to tell you about themselves, but they worry you’ll think they’re needy. They live in Cleveland with their husband and their five children (cats).