Last night our kitchen was a confessional

“You’re my entire world” my dad promised me

What if unconditional love isn’t so unconditional?

If only he knows the things that I’ve done

“You were sick. We see that now”

I am sick. I am ashamed.

“You’re not a burden. You light up my life”

But Dad if you only knew

Why can’t I love myself the way you and Mom love me? 

“It wasn’t your fault?”

But if I hadn’t been wearing that shirt that day 

Or such sheer leggings

I was marked as dirty. I am dirty.

And no, I don’t believe in unconditional love

Christmas Mood Swing

Life is a playground and I’m on a mood swing

Too high to jump off

I’m elated

Do you see how the tree gleams brightly?

Do you see all those presents underneath?

It’s a week away but I can already smell the scent of ham on

Christmas Eve

Yes this is sure to be an amazing Christmas

So why am I crying? Why am I letting tears roll down my face?

Even the Christmas lights can’t permeate

The darkness in my heart

Something bad will happen

The hospitals calling my name

And then my mom goes to hold me

And the panic slows

I sob into their arms

Tis the Christmas spirit

My legs graze the ground as the mood swing comes to a close

For now


He kept the window open so he could smoke pot and you know 

I don’t mind the smell so much

We lie on his loft bed and everytime I pull out my laptop

To get this stupid paper done

He pushes it away like a playful puppy that just wants


We used to joke the only way I got out of that paper 

Was my suicide attempt

It’s the wrong joke

It’s the wrong joke goddamit

You know I slashed my wrists open after our last fight

My mom cried

Why can’t we be in your loft

Where my boobs were your pillows

And your massages were amazing

And we baked me a cake and your mom sang Happy Birthday

Before she became an alcoholic

I’m homesick for you, for us

And I swore to my mom in a poem  I wouldn’t write anymore poems about you

You walk with bloody footsteps all over my heart

I told you to get help

I couldn’t, I tried, God knows 

How many nights, how many fights when your Mom used me as a weapon

 I loved you

I miss you 

Guess I’m just homesick

What I Love About You

You’re a deep inhale of hookah, my favorite flavor

Sticky kisses exchanged

Now come to the car and keep me warm

You’re starry eyes on November nights

I’d risk the cold

To see your light

You’re a dance I’ve yet to learn

God thrusts me into the center

Tells me its my turn, the dance of love

The two of us can’t dance enough 

And he says no one ever reaches perfection

But he’ll give us a lifetime worth of lessons

You are sunflowers on Van Gogh’s desk

Eternal and beautiful, you brighten his room

And you brighten my heart

The flowers that bloom

104 degrees

My brother has a fever of 104 and I am

Hear him screaming as my mom puts him in

An ice bath

She’s on the phone with doctors

I sit in the living room and watch

I only seem to get “low grade fevers”

And while I don’t want an ice bath

I want attention 

I sit on a chair swing my legs and went

For the fever to break

We all do


There is always more than one silence

Like blankets layered, waiting to envelope 

You, silences ever present like evergreen trees

When I told him “I love you” he said “I can’t

Give you that” When I told him I loved him he

Laughed When I loved him I didn’t tell him

I let the silences do the work, he deciphered

What others could not, some speak silence and some 

Are made to enjoy silences together, like the

Whisps of snow falling an ever present evergreens

Cat and Cactus

Someday when I grow up I will love

A cactus and a cat

And large windows that let in the sun

And a husband but that requires a lot of maintenance 

And faith

And compromise

But when he holds my kitten, giving her gentle scratches

 Behind the ears

Or attends to my cactus gently probing its needles to see how sharp they really are

When I see the sun stream over his face as he hands me a morning cup of coffee

I forget the maintenance, the compromise

There is only faith

Cry Your Heart Out

To where shall I cry?

I want to venture beyond the folds of

My streets, I don’t want a tear stained pillow

Do I want waves, choppy and strong?

Sand whipped into my eyes by angry winds

Do I want calm, t he shores of a lake reminding me 

With certainty that we all these moments

Do I want gardens climbing with possibilities or do 

I want the silence of church? Can I say that quietly

I love when it rains

Because I can cry on the streets, I can cry as I walk

Let the stoic mask slip, collapse into misery

The rain driven is my protector, no gentle hands, no 

Caring eyes “Are you all right?”

Just rain, relentless pursuit

No I’m not all right

But I will be


Dear Diamond,

I never really wanted  you

With the thirst of other girls

I didn’t care if you were around my neck

Until I opened the box

And it caught the light

And since that night I see

Myself on yachts and in mansions

Camera pans to the man next to me

For he is the object of my dreams

He has stamped his initial with his shiny gift

Catherine Moscatt is a poet and essayist. She enjoys loud music, bad horror movies and cuddling with her cats.

Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.

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