Poems from Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea


Your pieces, long shattered,
a biohazard in a metal box
somewhere. I never gave thought
to you, but now this ache
returns and I am forced to
relive the pain of my decision.
So young, it was inevitable
that the only piece of me
that could have loved me back
was destroyed at my own hands.
You unique, perfect thing.
You pearl in a compactor.
I never hated you,
your downfall was the vessel,
uniquely imperfect.




The first to go through the shredder
was the marriage certificate.
The yellowing paper crunched in your
hands as you bid it farewell.

So went the all of the useless
things that sat around gathering dust,
giving the illusion of a happy home.
The department store paintings you
always hated.
She didn’t want them, so you trashed
them with a box cutter and a hammer.
The walls, so bright with memories of
her. You doused them with the deepest
of browns.

In our worst clothes, we sweated and
heaved it all into a giant trash bin.
Hand towels, old curtains, chipped dishes –
you trashed them all, and I watched
and cheered you on, like it was an
episode of Hoarders, only we weren’t
just throwing away things, we were
erasing her memory.

The rain streamed down my face and
left black streaks, your old trucker’s
jacket, soaked through.

With the last of her junk gone, we embraced,
told you how much I loved you,
said that any piece of her that I wore
on my face was only that, a resemblance.
We didn’t need her anymore, we never did.

That night, I cooked you dinner.
We drank a toast to our family of two,
smoked inside without being screamed at.


Arielle Lancaster-LaBrea is the editor of the online poetry zine, Thick With Conviction. She works a daily job that isn’t quite as rewarding, but figures most people do that, too. She loves rock music, relaxing outside with a coffee or a beer and a cigarette, reading old and new poetry and a ton of other things that do not need to go in her so-called ‘poetic bio’, which was entirely devoid of publication credits, until recently. You can find Arielle in work to a calm, Decompression and forthcoming in Scythe.

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