Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

Afterparty

After all the guests
Left their fingerprints
On every window
And scuffs up and down
Each hallway,
I searched for you.
I looked underneath
The stacks of jackets
Forgotten by those
Donning flushed cheeks,
Peeked in the guest room,
Let your name shake
Now empty glasses clattering
And cluttering countertops.
They said you slipped out
While I was still dancing;
Now I just have pity parties,
All alone, drinking myself silly.


No Such Thing as Closure

It’s been a few months
Since the last time I cried.
My wells have run dry
But not because I miss you any less;
I finally accept that
This is life.
I can scream into
Every passing storm cloud,
But that will never bring you back.
I can yell at God
As I sob over crinkled pictures
But all I can grasp are memories.
There are days
I want to pretend
You are just a call away.
There are days I forget
Not only has your number
Been reassigned to a fast food joint,
There are days I forget
What your voice even sounded like.
But today is different.
This is life.
So I choose to remember your nails
Tracing up and down…


This article includes affiliate links to Amazon products. All products are genuine recommendations, though I do receive compensation when purchased through these links.

There is a lot that no one tells you about chronic illness. If you love someone living with a chronic illness, odds are they have felt emotions they will never share with you. Chronic illness is incredibly isolating. Despite having an incredible support system, I still find chronic illness to be permeated by loneliness. It disconnects you from everyone you love on some level. …


A Poem about Ableism and Capitalism

Photo by Petrebels on Unsplash

Full Time

I wonder if they called
The supermarket where I worked
Back in college, when
The thought of food
Sent me to the restroom
And some days my arms
Would suddenly give out
While I carried milk
Across the store floor.
I wonder if they heard
About the migraines
With quarter-sized blind spots.
I pray that just saw
The impressive credentials,
The fact that I managed
To be a manager
From high school
Through college.
My paranoia tells me
They sense I hovered
On the page where I refused
To disclose my disability.
Did they know they were
Seated before someone
Who can slip off to puke
And return unaffected?
I’ve learned how to collapse
In that moment before fainting,
When your heart…


Photo by Jamez Picard on Unsplash

Three Ways to Love Me

Let me fill my head
With maddening poetry, words
That distracts me from the lyrics
Of our daily conversations.
Let me lay my head
In your lap and please,
Do not mock me for
Pinning my feet up
Against the wall and
Crushing a heating pad
Against my abdomen.
Please bring me weed,
Even when I don’t ask for it;
I usually win the game
Of putting off medication
That would make it easier
To meditate despite the pain.
I forgo the little relief
A simply plant can bring;
I fear I am turning
Into a statue in the garden.
My mom must’ve become
Medusa;
I can barely move my legs,
My feet already turned to stone.
I know this paranoia
Would be exhaled
With a big…


Photo by 小胖 车 on Unsplash

Trigger warning: this poem is about infant loss

Amiguous Loss

Ambiguous loss is defined
As a loss that occurs
Without closure or understanding.

Ambiguous loss is defined
As all of their clothes returned to Carter’s,
Quickly declining store credit or exchange,
All of these items bought in excitement,
Returned with red-rimmed eyes,
Bags held in shaky hands,
Why won’t the clerk stop staring,
They should understand.
Ambiguous loss is defined
As something no one can understand.
The ache of what could have been,
Hopes and dreams
Burned at the gravesite,
Wondering what my baby sister
Would have looked like,
What my little brothers
Laugh would have sounded like.
Ambiguous loss is not easily defined,
And less easily let go of.
How…


Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash

Trigger warning: infant loss and infertility

The real heartache
Comes in fleeting moments.

Your mom mentioning
Holding onto a baby book
For us one day.

A surrogacy subplot
Appearing out of the blue
On my new TV show.

My half birthday,
When I was officially older
Than my mom was
When she lost
Any future fruits
From her tree,
Finally uprooted.

Saying congratulations
And wanting to mean it,
So desperately
That I hate myself when
I disappear for the bathroom
During your sisters baby shower,
Only to have my own shower,
An outpouring of grief
For a happiness
I might never reach…

Maggie Bowyer

Freelance political and health writer. Poet. The Whole Story out now

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