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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Daddy Issues

By: Mary Claire Shingleton

She is overflowing.

She is terrified of men, delicate down 

to the very capillaries that open and close 

without consent.

She eats horror like a tapeworm, craves 

Columbine and Holocaust and interruption

and all of the decapitated paraplegic unfinished

stories that nobody can digest; chews and chews 

and swallows hurt with a swollen smile.

She never purges.

She revels in bad sex, misplaced intimacy, 

with those men she never learned  

to talk to, that reveal fresh wounds 

and promptly cover them again, 

preferring her clean.

She lets them rip out her earrings

with thirsty hands, leave bitemarks 

on her buttercream speckled skin, 

authorize her dispensability.

And she keeps grief, her dearest companion, 

at bay; never lets it slither up her throat

and strangle when she nibbles 

at nostalgia, or tastes bitter memories 

on the tip of her tongue.   

She never speaks hurt, never reveals 

where she’s stitched herself shut.

She never complains to her veins, never asks why 

no one requested permission before pumping something 

out to her edges.


Mary Claire Shingleton is a poet from Bluff Park, Alabama. She has a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and plans to devote her life to the education of young children. In addition to writing and studying, Mary Claire is also a mother to a wonderful two-year-old.


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