By Mallory Rader
“We need to get together when you have the time. I need to make-
I may not have the type of time you’re looking for
to heal your dirt-covered, battered skin.
I’ve had time once before.
Time to remember my mother’s black and blue tears shaping
in the ridges of her eyes you sang about.
We thought she would never recover.
Time to remember trying to wake you before another cigarette
became nearly a blanket-made house fire.
We would have burned to the ground with you. We did for years.
The remorse you carried in your jaw when I was six years old
on our journey to mend your wheezing stomach.
The day you made yourself an ant-sized elephant.
The verbal compensation you handed to deaf ears
after traces of you were found in a tent.
I have been convinced that you are gone ever since.
I want you to know that I am forever in park at a green light
in fear of turning left off of a cliff
into a river streaming into itself.
My head is always spinning between yellow and red
And white walls are always an inch short of closing in.
I was born into this world panicking.
I can’t explain why I don’t want to be touched or looked at
Or why I can’t allow myself to break or even reveal a surface scratch because
it would only send my emotions back into the circular motion
I have spent years swimming sideways out of.
Which brings me back to,
“Yes. I’ll let you make your –
Mallory Rader spends a majority of her time in the fetal position. This posture has created the talent of holding writing utensils between her toes. She is currently working on a Bachelor’s in English at Youngstown State University and is not quite sure if the world is real or if we are all Sim’s characters.