Siren Song

Photo: © Stefan Hengst. All rights reserved.

Whose idea was this,
This swimming against the tide?
I am sleeping on the couch,
And piss rains down from the upstairs bathroom
Into my daughter’s bed.
Yesterday they took the sink out.
The toilet won’t flush
Unless you plunge
Your hand into the cold water tank
And yank the broken chain.
There used to be a house
With a pool, and a dishwasher,
And an ice maker.
I spit at all of it.
I said I was drowning.
Sometimes I watered the lawn outside at night
So the children couldn’t hear me cry.
Once in the tub my son said:
“Daddy knows everything and you don’t know nothing.”
I took the boy overboard with me.
What passed as a raft
Is sinking. Floating debris
As far as the eye can see.
I pour myself a beer.
It’s better this way, I sing, better.
I’m a pirate and this is my chantey.
I think rats have been drinking
From the cat’s bowl.


by M.J. Tenerelli


M.J. Tenerelli is a legal writer, poet, and mother. Her work has appeared in a number of journals, both online and off, including recently The Feminist Wire and Oberon. She is the co-editor of the poetry anthology Grabbing the Apple, a collection of work by New York women, and is the former host of a monthly poetry reading for the Northport Arts Coalition.

About the Artwork

The accompanying artwork is by contributor Stefan Hengst.

Appears In

Issue 2

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