I believe in broken screen doors,
eyes clenched shut like fists, bricks
and the diluted blues of the old picnic
table in a back yard I no longer call
my own. These things were my father
before you replaced him after an assembly
line of identical shards of broken glass.
My mother, engaged five times
to four different men
and married twice in under a year,
told me you’re supposed to know
if you love someone in the first
week you meet them. When you married
her I made two rules for myself:
that I would never do a goddamn
thing for you and that I would be
the key that never fit any lock.
I refuse to wash a man’s laundry
but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe
in love. I believe in screaming in riot,
not in violation of another person’s rights.
Safety is not the opposite of bruises.
Your love is cocooning two people
in Saran Wrap until one suffocates.
I want mine to be a kite string,
easy to make a clean cut
but the beauty of the flight
makes you never want to let go.
Daryl Sznyter received her MFA in poetry from The New School and her BA in creative writing from Pepperdine University. Previous and forthcoming publications include Word Fountain, Best American Poetry blog, Noble / Gas Qtrly, Bluestem Magazine and anthology Theories of HER. She currently resides in Dunmore, Pennsylvania.