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Postcards From Purgatory

Home Sweet Hell

By River Gilliam Published 2 years ago 3 min read
Postcards From Purgatory
Photo by Yaopey Yong on Unsplash

The sound of your knuckles

Keeps me up at night

Knocking on my front door

You don’t stop

And I don’t sleep

Because I am haunted by

The memory of you ODing

Beside me

Shots fired

It’s 4am

I’m 16 and I run naked into the street

My best friend

Killed herself next door

And I all I can do

Is go back to my room

Where he’s molesting me


How do I fight him off of me

When he’s been my instructor

For 11 years

Training me in karate

How do I fight him off of me

When he’s been the one

Teaching me

To defend myself

Against people like him


No control

Lose myself

Rape me

Run me over

Hit me harder

Caress me softly

Light my car on fire

Make sweet love to me

Beat me til’ I’m broken and bruised

Take me to a fancy dinner

Throw your drink in my face

“Mom, those bruises are just from me

Falling again, you know how clumsy I am”

Excuses, excuses

I’m 17 and my boyfriend

Keeps trying to kill me

I turn 18

I think I’ll finally be free




I dance on tombstones made of bricks

In the pet cemetery in my yard

The Moon lights a path

That leads me into your arms

You meet me at the edge of our driveways

And you shotgun a kiss

I think I can see you

I think I can feel you

The ghost of your memory

Dancing beside me

I watched my true love die

Blood stained sheets

Put a bandaid over a bullet wound

And call the trauma cured

The memory

Of me running naked into the bedroom

Her naked on the bed

I felt the hands of Hell

Reaching up for me

As I begged for death

Her jaw ripped open

After she pulled the trigger


Sleep, what is sleep?

I awake and look out my window

Daddy’s hanging from a tree

There will be no rest

For the wicked

There is no hope

In a house that is not a home

There is no song

For the birds to sing

Only silence lives here

No echos

To hear my screams

There are no stars that shine here

To shed light

On this abyss

In the depths

Of these shadows

Between these four walls

Every night

Before I go to bed

I bathe myself

In your nostalgia

I wash my face

With old photographs

I shave my legs

With the caress

Of your fentanyl fingertips

I moisturize my skin

With your cocaine kisses

I lay my head to rest

On pillows made of tombstones

Mattress crumbles to ashes

And I fall into you

Blankets made up

Of your leather jackets

The air as ice cold

As your body in the casket

I close my eyes to rest

I think I can see you

I think I can feel you

And I hang myself beside you

On the crescent Moon

In my dreams

We are always together

In this home

I am haunted forever

sad poetry

About the Creator

River Gilliam

My dad always said he knew I was going to be a poet because I was crying before I had even completely left the womb. It’s always been my dream to get published someday.

She/her. Cosmetologist. Writer. Vegan. Dog mom.

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