“Pest Control” and “Dissociative Amnesia” by Kristin Ryan

Kristin Ryan Poems

Pest Control

I.
There are always roaches
in the corners of my mind.
I’m in the kitchen washing cups
at the sink and time skips.
Skips as in: I’m six and splinters
are in my back. Skips again:
roaches crawl over me. Skips again:
the sink is overflowing and
soap suds run down my arm.

This happens more and more.
When I walk down the hallway
to the bedroom, in the shower,
the nights where I’m brave enough
to be touched. My husband’s hands
are always gentle, they always will be.
I know this like I know windows can
be opened and closed. It’s my fault.
I’m the one that triggered you.
I feel like a predator. How do
I tell him hearing this hurts
more than what I remember?

.

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.

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II.
It’s during a therapy session
I learn kids mistake hands
for roaches and other bugs
when recalling memories.
The realization stings.
My trembling rattles
her office windows.
My sobs startle both of us:
“I wanted to be wrong.
I wanted to be wrong.”

When I come home,
my husband is packing up
the kitchen for our move.
How was therapy?
I shake my head and cry as
he wraps his arms around me.
“I didn’t want to be right.”

 

 

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image: Ashley Goldberg

 

 

Dissociative Amnesia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kristin Ryan is a poet working towards healing, and full sleeves of tattoos. She is a recipient of the Nancy D Hargrove Editor’s Prize in Poetry, and was a Write Bloody Finalist. Her poems have been featured in Glass, Jabberwock Review, and Spider Mirror, with work forthcoming in Five:2:One, among others. She holds an MFA from Ashland University and works in the mental health field. She tweets @kristinwrites

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