Just Couldn’t Build Your White Picket Fences by Andrea Lambert

As I’m waiting for you to drop off my stuff
This Monday
After the funnest weekend ever
Without you.

I think about what I want to say to you
And it goes a little something like this:

I wish you the best.
You’re a good person.
You tried.
I did too.
It wasn’t enough.

You don’t approve of:
​My religion: Wicca
​My disability: Schizoaffective, anxiety and PTSD
​The financial arrangement of my income
​My mental illness
​My body, beautiful as it is and as much as you enjoyed fucking it
​My teeth, stained as they are by tea and weed
​My smeared makeup
​My posture
​How often I go to the gym
​When I let my hair go gray
​When I had hair extensions
​When I had acrylic nails with nail art
​How much weed I have to smoke to stay healthy.

You don’t approve
Of so many things
About me
That it makes me wonder
You want me back.

I think you want me back
Because you want to change me
into the women you want.
You want someone else.
I am setting you free to find her.

I dissolved the love spell that bound you to me.
I put a spell on you
You’re mine.

I put many spells on you
Over the years.

The other morning in meditation
I dissolved the last one.
You are free now.

Bruja traviesa
Buena bruja

Oh, Catholic boy,
You’re in over your head.

Your intolerance of my religion
When I was always understanding about yours
When your people
Burned my people
At the stake
Tells me it’s impossible.

That our breakup was sparked by me saying
I didn’t want to see The Last Witch Hunter
And you saying
You did
Spoke volumes.

Our bloodlines
Are natural enemies.
It can never be.

You always thought I was yours.
I let you believe that.
After a point I was barely tolerating you.
I realized I couldn’t pretend anymore.

As the Magic 8 Ball says:
“All signs point to yes”
That you stole my Klonopin
I’m talking evidence not voodoo.

I could have died in withdrawals.
Or ended up in the hospital
Or had a seizure.

That you would throw my life away like that
Tells me I can’t date you anymore.
I’m not safe dating anyone
Who would steal my meds.

My life and the failure of my first marriage
Has taught me that all relationships have a lifetime
The lifetime of this relationship is done.

Thank you for everything.
​For the trips to Palm Springs
​The presents
​The steak dinners
​The good sex
​The movies
​The vacation in Zion
We had a lot of good times.
You were a good transitional boyfriend.

Best boyfriend I’ve had so far.
Best male sex I’ve had so far.
My first sober boyfriend
And my first fluid bond
Which makes me wonder what the future holds.

I am only three years widowed now.

That you would have the nerve
To come into my home
And get angry because
A wedding photo of my wife was on the wall
Then try to get back together with me
On the anniversary of my wife’s death
Is amazingly insensitive.

Of course I said no.

Do you not understand
I need time to grieve
I cannot even think
About getting married again
It is too soon.

Go back to Match.com
Take women out to dinner
Until you find one who wants to marry you
And have kids with you.

I can never make you happy
You would always take out on me
The destruction of your dreams.

I’m unwilling to keep being your punching bag
I need to end the cycle of abuse.

I am often in abusive relationships.
With you the physical abuse was over
But the emotional abuse was rampant.
My therapist is sure of it,
As am I.

The fact that I have been
So happy
Since we broke up
Tells me
That this is for the best.
Goodbye, ex-boyfriend.​


Andrea Lambert is the author of Jet Set Desolate, Lorazepam & the Valley of Skin and the chapbook G(u)ilt. Artist. A CalArts MFA graduate, Lambert’s work has appeared in 3:AM Magazine, The Fanzine, Entropy, HTMLGiant, Queer Mental Health, Five:2:One Magazine and ENCLAVE. Her writing has been anthologized in Haunting Muses, Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices, The L.A. Telephone Book Vol. 1, 2011-2012, Off the Rocks Volume #16: An Anthology of GLBT Writing, You’ve Probably Read This Before and Chronometry. Find her online at andreaklambert.com.