Poetry by SaraEve Fermin

After Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

In my defense, a poet once told me ‘poets make the best liars.’ In my defense, I slept with a painting of jesters above my childhood bed. In my defense, the painted lady and the razor in hand.

No, he never pried me open, never saw the blade fall from my fingertips. That was my truth. Still, I saved the best of myself for him—when the anxiety of lying with a woman who loved him began to soak through his clothing, I reassured him in kinder tones than I have ever used on myself. I was not a sin, I was a celebratory feast and he was no gentleman. He was a hungry fool with the meat of his last kill still hanging from his teeth. ‘Wipe your fucking mouth.’ I said. The mistake was letting him think I was prey. The mistake was letting him think he chose me.

In my defense, my favorite rides are the ones that spin you around the fastest. In my defense, I love when the floor drops out. In my defense, second place is first runner up.

Distance does not make us stronger, does not make us safer. It breaks down lies so that 
they are digestible by the time they reach the other party. I have loved harder apparitions that 
I have never met the ghosts of people’s quickly whispering fingers. I am a collection of late
 night confession and open door dreams, find myself attracted to old souls and wandering stars. 
When you allow the dreams of married men to unfold into your miles away life, when you start 
to drink just so you can turn your computer on, when the insomnia creeps in, know you have 
simply become a placeholder. It’s time to turn celebration. String memory from neuron to neuron like crepe paper and become welcome party to the grief.

In my defense, I’ve never met a carnival I could just walk away from. In my defense, I’ll always read your letters. In my defense, I tattooed my wrist to keep it safe.


SaraEve Fermin

Born and raised in New Jersey, SaraEve is a performance poet and epilepsy advocate from Union City. She is currently the editor-in-chief of Wicked Banshee Press (2014) and has competed in the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She now features and competes locally, regionally and nationally and is a regular volunteer at National Poetry Slam events. A member of the Poetry Slam Inc. Advocacy Group, SaraEve has facilitated workshops on Performance Poetry and Invisible Illness on both a local and national level. Her work can be found in Ghost House Review, Red Paint Hill Quarterly, Free Verse, Transcendence and Swimming With Elephants ‘Light As A Feather’ Anthology. A Stephen King nerd, she is currently involved in a 100 submissions challenge. Learn more here!