I MET OZZY OSBOURNE LAST NIGHT
I know I should lock the door, but
I’m not afraid,
not since I saw my stepdad
choke my sister one Christmas
(I really couldn’t breathe, she said later,
I thought I was going to die)
while our mother, drunk, watched.
Sixteen, I knew nothing about
how love and need can meet
and turn a mother into a dust
drunk by eight pm,
I open my apartment door to find
Ozzy sitting on the floor of my four-room apartment
holding a ball of yarn over the head
of my cat.
I named my cat Ozzy after him
because I wish we were blood,
that our family trees shared
acid tripping, bat biting, pot smoking
ancestors. And I’m spinning
from the beer I drank with my friend Louis
before I discovered in my apartment
the Prince of Fucking Darkness,
the man who sang me to sleep over my teenage
Wal-Mart stereo while my mom and stepdad
fucked across the hall.
KAYLA SARGESON’s poems appear in 5am and Paper Street, as well as the anthologies Voices from the Attice XIV, Dionne’s Story, and Time You Let Me In, an anthology of 25 poets under the age of 25, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye. She co-founded the Pittsburgh-based Girls with Glasses reading series in 2009.