I am an actress.
I can show you genuine sympathy and a laughter that outshines the hyenas in Africa
And yes I’ve taken lessons,
Too many in fact.
Beginning from the time I was five To 7 and a half years ago.
My father was my best teacher.
And oh God was he a preacher about how high he held his princess.
He would tell of the pedestal I stood upon and I promise you everyone loved Johnny, Johnny who grew up in church and sang in the choir in the perfect spot where the stained glass sunlight danced,
Who worked so hard and after Sunday service took care of his aging parents.
Johnny who was my father,
Who was the embodiment of a strong family man.
But Johnny pulverized my mothers confidence under his fists indeed underneath his wrists which carried to tuck me in bed every night I broke bones every time saying goodbye, no sorry I meant goodnight.
They don’t teach you self love in preschool.
They teach you to share and love others I never once had to sit through a Dr. Suess book of how juggly wuggly a muggly ugly animal learned to love himself before a who.
Maybe thats why I failed preschool.
Maybe that’s where I began to measure my selfworth through letters,
Aching every time he got that look in his eyes.
That told me I better hide faster than the time it took for him to set his bottle down And maybe that’s why it’s my fault I now carry the scars of it.
But not physical, no, I was never given his blessing to have those
At least he found it within himself to act on self preservation.
Instead I carried his prayers,
Praise dancing at 4am oh god why was I cursed with such awful children
Oh God, why can’t she be good enough I am no Cain and my brother he is no Abel so tell me again please
Why you couldn’t love me?
My Johnny was my best teacher,
My preacher who taught me how to act.
Who broke down my childhood and hid it so well from my savior,
My savior who tried to deflect his rage like a mirror.
But he couldn’t even pretend to see her
Until at last she couldn’t no more.
She stood her ground and let herself roar.
She never knew how fractured I had become.
My Johnny, mommy became my only teacher.
My non religious preacher who taught me how to end a scene.