"I Dream of Elephants" art by Christine Stoddard
forgiving mistakes i've made
you spent so much time trying to cage me, trying to silence me; but i already allowed them to silence me once—wasn't going to lose my voice again to a man who sought to own me but never know me or love me, you loved my naked body but had no use for my naked soul; so i will not hold onto your bones any longer—i am dropping you in the creek where you can wash away forever, all your contempt and your scorn; i can still see it in the sirens in your eyes that i once mistook for mermaids—you became so numb to living, that you failed to see you accepted death as a lover; and lost pieces of your soul that you forgot even existed—i thought you were an unknown adventure that i needed to explore, but you were the one cave i should've ignored no matter how curiously my mind bit me; but i won't hold it against myself any more—i have always found it hard to forgive myself, but i know that i must forgive myself for my mistakes, including you.
- linda m. crate
Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has five published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017), and splintered with terror (Scars Publications, January 2018), and one micro-chapbook Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018).
Christine Stoddard has presented her artwork at the New York Transit Museum, the Queens Museum, the Poe Museum, the Ground Zero Hurricane Katrina Museum, Annmarie Sculpture Garden, and beyond. She is the author of Water for the Cactus Woman (Spuyten Duyvil Publishing) and the founder of Quail Bell Magazine.