I tried saying I can’t. I didn’t like the taste of the words as they were given birth from my mouth or the reverb as they bounced off those who broke me. They held my head underwater for over a year but I survived. A person should recognize their own hand on the faucet or they ought to have been taught lefty-loosey, righty-tighty. Blood cells deprived of oxygen, lungs sucked flat like plastic bags, and I hated myself for saying it. I hated them for making me say it. I hated life for rocks and hard places— water rising between the two. I hated the words. I might revise I can't with never again but Kate said not to use absolutes. A life lesson not learned is a life wasted. I’m self-taught now. School of hard knocks on wood with one hand, the other steady / ready to turn right.
Shyla Shehan is an analytical Virgo who rewrites her bio on a weekly basis. She holds an MFA in Writing from the University of Nebraska where she was awarded an American Academy of Poets Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Ocotillo Review, High Shelf Press, The Decadent Review, Gyroscope Review, Plainsongs, and elsewhere. Shyla lives in Omaha with her husband, children, and four cats. Her full bio and more are available at shylashehan.com.