1. Half a Golden Delicious smothered in Saran Wrap. Fogged, plastic concealing cavities.
2. My favorite shade of nail polish is called Can’t Beet Royalty. Second favorite: Beet, Pray, Love.
3. I try to write past it but always get stuck in the roots somewhere. Sometimes, I fear I’m starting to treat the earth as a blanket rather than dirt.
4. I took Plan B for the first time. Forty dollars for a single, purple-packaged pill. I picked up some moisturizer and mascara while I was at it. On my way out of Walgreens, I asked him to stay the night. Necessity takes all forms.
5. I spent weeks after wondering why my body was endlessly churning out blood. Why my breasts ached and none of my bras fit. Red, rubber welts around ribs. Pregnancy taking captive the sweet linings of every thought, dream, and nightmare.
6. I haven’t spoken to my mother in months and something about that makes me ache more than the thought of becoming one too soon.
7. There may be no means for accommodation anymore. It doesn’t seem possible. The pieces have flown too far apart, farther than my fingers can splay.
8. It’s difficult to long for the past because the good was so intertwined with the bad. There’s no way to experience one without the other. Reviving frozen kittens in the convection oven. Only for Dad to run them over with the lawn mower a month later.
9. Christmas morning drifting into Christmas evening as Mother sleeps away her booze in the other room. Only to wake up and push us out the front door with her screams and cries. Watching Django Unchained with strangers in winter coats.
10. Dragging the garden hose through the freshly cut lawn. Moss and crabgrass. Stray blades stuck to my ankles and calves. Bug bites the size of tumors. Cold surges of water gush into cupped palms. Saturating flowerbeds into fishbowls of drowned violets. Floating faces. Collapsible bubbles, swallowed. Sunken into that deep place beneath my toes.
11. I once revered my ability to adapt. Now, I just wince.
12. Lying in bed at night, I press my thumb against the painted walls to leave a trace of me behind. Like whispered breath on windowsills. Smeared blood on cracked asphalt.
Alexandria Liston is a recent MFA graduate from California College of the Arts. By day, she works at the San Francisco SPCA where she microwaves heating disks for underweight kittens. By night, she works on her memoir that focuses on the complexities of surviving domestic violence, addiction, mental illness, and motherhood. She enjoys calm Wednesday afternoons and all other monotony derived from a rational lifestyle.