But I Do

by Aaron Blair

You don't think I know you but I do.
I saw your breathless blue face
peering up at me from beneath my own skin,
the ghost of you meandering down
the rivers levied by my veins,
and with the razor's edge I built dams,
prisons to contain you,
to bar you in with scars,
but you always rusted your way through.
You tell me what I should remember,
that my heart should project the same
home movies as yours, throw the same
images against the whitewashed wall
and see them stick, but it doesn't.
To wish the past undone is not the same
as having the power to undo it,
and there's no bottle in the world
that can make me forget,
no lotus-eating machine to
clean up all of the messes that you made.
I know you because I am you.
You created me with a broken rib
and spent the next thousand years
hammering me into a shape
any small moment of self-awareness
could have made you recognize.
I know you because I am not you.
I took one look in the mirror
and when I saw your eyes there,
I plucked them out, to make myself
blind but righteous, better than you.
You think I don't know you,
but how could I not know
what I have chosen not to be?


Author's Note: Every time I talk to my dad, he only wants me to feel sorry for him because his father abused him. He pays lip-service to being sorry about what he did, but then he says he doesn't remember things that he did that were really bad. In short, my dad is full of crap. I should stop taking his calls. No one else in my family does. I'm a masochist.

Posted on 07/21/2011
Copyright © 2024 Aaron Blair

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Mo Couts on 07/21/11 at 11:39 PM

Ooohhh, brutally honest. Loved every word of it.

Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 07/22/11 at 04:11 AM

Vicious in terms of the content and the psychic damage that's clearly being taken with this kind of honesty. It's also a brilliant, beautiful read.

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