Every beautiful story of rehabilitation starts as a counting game, minutes are needles, hours are nails, and days are knives driving deeper into your skin.
You’re just trying to keep clean, and stop your body from caving in.
I awoke to a headache. Part hangover, part hammer beating a rapid rhythm into the left temple. It’s a drum beat that I am used to marching to.
My mother asks me why I haven’t eaten all day.
My barren desert stomach screams at her words;
little does she know I’d rather starve to death than learn to live another moment. She asks me what happened last night.
I gather my courage long enough to pry the purity ring off of my left hand finger “I can no longer wear this”
In a heated boiler room of fight or flight, I cower, defeated,
and whisper the events of that fateful night.
The police came tonight.
They didn’t even bother to take off their shoes.
They created muddy spots in the ragged carpet that took me hours to clean. But that’s nowhere near the time it will take to clean the besmirched stains their shoes left on my heart.
I told them I drink a lot. According to them that may be a reason to discredit my whole story.
The detectives told me we have no case.
Came all the way over here to tell me we have no case.
I couldn’t face them. Let alone erase them from my memory.
Couldn’t forget their faces as they looked at me
As if all I did was lie But why would I lie?
I can’t get their words out of my head.
They said “because you were drunk.”
Because I was drunk
Because I was drunk
Because I was drunk and he wasn’t
Does that mean my no
I do not want this
Does that mean nothing anymore?
But maybe it never did.
I’ve hidden a surprise for myself in my bedroom.
I don’t remember his name, but he’s there I’m sure.
Was it Jack?
the only crown that can make me a queen.
My only Bud,
that seems to make me wiser.
I just want it so bad.
I think I finally learned to breathe again.
Words only flow as freely as the alcohol that holds them captive.
Is this why I can no longer write?
Her pen scratches on paper;
a road map for her uncharted pain.
Life is so much better when it bears a bite.
I determine the girl in my reflection cannot possibly be me.
Her hazel eyes no longer stained by bloodshot red lines;
she is too pretty to be me.
I feel no need to corrupt her face with my beauty paste.
She is already beautiful enough.
From the moment you learned the way in which numbers flow,
you began to play a never-ending game with the world.
A countdown to birthdays, Christmas,
that day in the year when you get to see a meteor fly by in the sky,
just a reminder that life is only seconds ticking by.
And that number aside my name, now 195,
is no longer how my existence is defined.
Every beautiful story of rehabilitation starts as a counting game, and maybe, one day, I will finally lose count.
© Malia Graciani. 2015