Poetry by Kit Travers

Jesus is as good a replacement for crack as any, I guess

Disappointment is more common than love.
Or at least as common.
At least as common as fathers.
And their children.
As common as forced haircuts, perhaps,
or family bible lessons.
Lessons filled with long rambling prayers,
the message pointed right between your eyes.
During these prayers his hand clutches yours,
grinding your knuckles until they’re sore.

It’s as common as “street fighting lessons.”
Which are pretty much just you being pushed over,
again & again by a middle aged man.
As common as being threatened with military school.
As common as when he falls asleep in his food.
As common as when he threatens to kick you out of the car
to walk your ass home.
As common as cheating,
and stealing,
and lying.

As common as being told you’re just a little fairy boy.
Common as finding crack pipes in the junk drawers and the cars.
Or waking you up in the middle of the night
to talk about how your mother is poison.
As common as visiting him in rehab.
As being told you’re a bad son.
As common as insomnia.
As common as drug dealers using your mom’s car for a toilet.

And it’s as common as nightmares,
and as common as the memories that run on repeat.
Even twelve years on, when you still
only feel safe alone, with your books and your drinks,
and all the locks secured,
in an apartment where the only other
living things are two plants,
one of which is barely holding on.
 

Kit Travers lives in Philadelphia with his two houseplants, Edgar and Leo, surrounded by books. He works in medical publishing by day and scribbles poetry and short fictions by night. His most recent prose can be found in Bedfellows. He makes a fairly decent curry. He can be found on instagram: @ktravesty