Regret

Lynne Schmidt

My regrets sit in my living room
like books on a shelf
neatly arranged by size
date
and any other relevant publishing information.

Guests to my apartment sit on my couch
Regret
Don’t feel his hands on my legs
Regret
Don’t see the drawing hanging on the wall from an art show we didn’t make it to
Regret
The beer bottles
Regret
The nights I can’t keep my emotions in check and therapy isn’t for two more weeks.
Regret

I once played a game with a boy
of who was the bigger fuck up –
The rules were simple
share a story,
the listener said whether or not to drink
and so I won
and my reward was peeling my car off a guardrail.

My partner rolls a name on his tongue
and though it is said in a language I understand
and though he means it for me
it always sounds like a stranger
because I’ve had this name since 2011
but was born into another.

Sometimes when I look in the mirror
I see her suffocating behind my eyes
but she just won’t die.

And when he kisses me
even though his is the most cautious with me
his tongue will taste like regret
if I give it enough time to ferment.

Lynne Schmidt is a mental health professional and an award winning poet and memoir author who also writes young adult fiction. An avid snowboarder following her abortion experience, she is also an Ambassador for Coalition Snow. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks, Gravity (Nightingale and Sparrow Press 2019), and On Becoming a Role Model (Thirty West 2020).  Her work has received the Maine Nonfiction Award, Editor’s Choice Award, and was a 2018 and 2019 PNWA finalist for memoir and poetry respectively. Lynne is a five time 2019 Best of the Net Nominee, and an honorable mention for the Charles Bukowski Poetry Award. In 2012 she started the project, AbortionChat, which aims to lessen the stigma around abortion. When given the choice, Lynne prefers the company of her three dogs and one cat to humans. 

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