“Bone Dry,” “The Rose Water Incident of 2022,” and “Weary Be the Wanton”

In Issue 65 by Monica Viera

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Photo by Brad Helmink on Unsplash

Bone Dry

It was lonely having

An anorexic mother

Who was often more concerned

About fitness and image

Than tending to the ache of my feelings

She exercised all the time, and ate light

She strove to be light,

And perhaps thought as her daughter,

I shouldn’t have such heavy feelings

Once, as a child, only she and my sister were home

And my mother fell back in her chair onto the floor

I saw her eyes roll back and saw her hit her head

I sobbed and panicked

She had passed out from not eating,

But quickly brushed it off

But the worst part about the

Anorexia

Was that she was bone dry

Affection and reassurance were scarce

So I had to seek it in uglier places

Just to feel mothered

Even if that meant degrading myself

For that attention

A part of me is still enraged

About the ugly places I’ve had to go

And the ugly things I’ve had to do

To get love.

The Rose Water Incident of 2022

I was once obsessed with my lover

Jeremy,

But after five months together, we had broken up,

And at some point,

I had to throw out the once fragrant bouquet,

He had gotten for me

During happier times.

Just like us, it was starting to wilt.

The red and pink petals were drying up,

And leaves dangled loose, daring to give up as well.

So grabbed the bouquet by the thorns,

And tossed it in the garbage.

But there was still that vase of old rose water,

With some wilted rose petals floating around,

To get rid of.

And as soon as I dumped the rosewater down the sink,

I began to cry.

But I felt a strange consistency in my tears,

As they were a bit textured,

So, I looked in my bathroom mirror,

And my tears were pink, with traces of petals,

And a sudden pain hit the corner of my left eyeball

Oh! How it pierced me!

Blood leaked from my eye,

As a thorn emerged.

I went to see a doctor immediately

Who said he’d never seen anything like it.

All he could do was cut out my tear ducts,

Leaving me mutilated,

No longer obsessed with Jeremy, and dry.

The doctor jotted the whole incident in his notes

As the “Rose Water Incident of 2022”

But I’d remember it as the feeling of where something was taken from me.

And knowing in my heart

That I had lost.

Weary Be the Wanton

It always starts off with his words.

Perhaps he is a writer, too.

A fellow wordsmith.

He tells you all the things you want to hear.

Need to hear.

He tells you that your beauty comes from your flaws,

And how your weaknesses make you beautiful.

Sure, after the sting of it all,

You’ll roll your eyes at that cheesy bs,

But for now, it’s the buoyancy that’s keeping you afloat.

So, you go with it.

You’re surfing on a high tide.

Men haven’t been like this before.

But it’s because you’ve been wanton and seductive.

Now that you’ve taken your guard down for one split second…

This jackass moves in.

Like a bee ready to sting you while you’re wearing a floral dress on a spring day.

So, you let him sting.

And the sting hurts so bad.

And you feel like such a fool for letting him drop your guard down with

Words.

Words are YOUR weapon, not his.

But more clichés about your flaws being the things that redeem you,

And the way he personalizes these things just for you are so sentimental.

You’ve made yourself stop feeling for so long, that once you do,

It becomes an avalanche.

Like a poor child, he runs.

What happened to the man who was so motivated by your flawed beauty?

Anger fills you. Sadness pours into you. This does not become you.

So, you go back to being waxy and wanton.

But not before you destroy him with words,

The way he annihilated you

With his.

About the Author

Monica Viera

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Monica Viera is a neurodivergent LGBTQ author from East Los Angeles who loves jazz and punk rock.