Archive for the Ally Malinenko Category

Telling my Mother (at nineteen) by Ally Malinenko

Posted in Ally Malinenko with tags on June 10, 2012 by Scot


We have all stood on this edge
and rowed out into dangerous waters.
First I promised myself and broke it,
then I promised my sister
and then there was no going back on it.

I stood in my room, having just returned from college,
awkward and limbless like an astronaut adjusting to gravity,

and she stood in the doorway,
her brow wrinkled in confusion
and frustration and anger, yes, anger too.

For a moment I saw myself as she saw me,
not the way I always see me,
distorted and warped,

but young, with unlined skin
and opportunities she never had,
I realized suddenly she wanted to grab me and shake me,
wake me from my own self destruction.

Scream, ‘Waste’, loud enough into my ear that not
only did my brain but maybe also my heart and my soul
buried deep in my swollen muscle of my trachea would hear it.

But she didn’t.
I told her, and she sighed deep and lost and
then for a moment inside, I was the mother,
asking Why? Why?
and she was the child, shrugging.

You will be okay, she said. You will get better.
It was not a question.

This is the way it happened. This was what we were waiting for.
Afterwards there was no going back to what once was.

Falling Down by Ally Malinenko

Posted in Ally Malinenko with tags on June 29, 2010 by Scot

I made a promise,
that I would stop thinking of my life
as a holding pattern
between good news and bad news
or lately, being bad news and worse news.
And I will live in the moment for what it is. Not what I hope will come.

And I’m trying.
But it’s not easy on a Sunday night,
when you have left the room,

because of the neighbor’s television

and I’ve given up
rather dramatically

and listen to the mumble through the wall,
knowing she is old
and probably going deaf,
and how little compassion I really have. And how terrible that makes me.

I tell you later, in bed,
that this year has started out pretty bad.
Sad and frustrating, I describe it.
And the writing, which is all I’ve got most days,
is letting me down.

And you agree and we lay in bed,
not touching, staring at the ceiling
and I realize I probably lied.

Places can turn their back on you. Just like a person can.
It’s then when you realize that the foundation is bad
and rotting, that termites have fed through the ground
and you can see how the whole thing will look
when that last plank snaps and it falls like a dying thing.

I realize over and over again, with horror,
that there is no guarantee that any of this will work out.

And now, I don’t think I can live in this moment for very long.
I don’t think anyone should.