private collection

when did you first realize you were a drain on your family, i love asking people 

answers vary! 

some figured it out after they had been used as child props for years, oh that’s why they told me to bring a backpack, others leveled up the day they got evicted, all their kid stuff shoved in trash bags spilling over the pavement and whoosh

i’m very young, six eight seven 

mother’s voice drifts to the kitchen: 

and then there’s her, one year it’s smurfs, one year it’s snorks 

i was cutting up catalogues under the table 

ask me anything: you can’t afford that 

birthdays christmas death rehearsals, restless mental calculations price vs cost how much is there left 

can you give me the cash instead 

no collection be it dolls or coins or souls increases in value over time 

items sold: bread machine bony jewels silver gold kenzo perfume (mint condition intact packaging) and a whole mind palace of platinum teeth 

secondhand moschino blazer still a grease stain on my conscience 

tell me what you like about yourself: i like wearing bikini bottoms 

i also never get robbed like that 

you don’t mess with the child of a legend

Barbara Genova (she/her/they) is the pen name of a public woman who went private. Poetry / stories written as Barbara have been published / are forthcoming at The Daily Drunk,, Anti-Heroin Chic, Sledgehammer Lit, Scissors and Spackle, The Final Girl Bulletin Board, Fahmidan Journal, Misery Tourism, Hallowzine (2021), Expat Press. She can be found on Twitter @CallGenova    and on Instagram @thebarbaragenova 

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