By Riley Forsythe

do acknowledge where if&when you’ve
recreated your family dynamic and realise you’ve
been swallowed by a pack of drooling narcissists

don’t panic you can slither&slide your
way out to safety

don’t proffer your neck however slender it may be
however enticing it may feel

to the chopping block they’ve reserved for the
false saviour they dress as lamb

do buy your innerchild frostycold icecream
and eat it for dinner, licking the spoon
with exquisite&mindful slowness
each sugary dribble a promise kept
to yourself at long last

don’t answer the siren call that sings
only you can save us. we can’t do this without you
and certainly

do recognise where your
life has become a compound
list of places you dread going to or being at
and instead shortlist your fantasy world
of where you long to be

don’t mistake cajoling for praise. the difference
is felt in your jaw and your shoulders. this is a skill.
you can learn it.

do frequently dive into deep bubble baths
spend all day in your pyjamas eating brightly
coloured e-numbers and watching cartoons or
whatever makes your innerchild laugh

don’t fall for the biggest lie of all
time; that you need to must
forgive in order to heal

don’t forgive anyone who won’t can’t
make assurances to change / look you in the eye and
offer sincere contrition through actions
not ghostwords

do forgive yourself, your deepdown fluffysoft
wounded fuckedup self, totally and unreservedly
& if need be
do this daily hourly minutely

Riley Forsythe

Riley Forsythe writes poetry, fiction, and experiential music reviews. She has an MA in Creative Writing from London Metropolitan University, and is an enthusiastic graduate of the Write Like A Grrl programme.

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