Dear Santa [Christmas In July]

christmas eve again
and I cannot sleep
anxious with more
than visions of sugar plums
each of those years
each of those visitations to my house
you crept to my room
to check if I were asleep
you snuck down my chimney
to unload your bag of goods
the coarse hair of your
jolly red suit left
my lips numb as I
opened your bribes
in the early morning
with all their bright bows
I grew sick from the chocolate
as my stomach turned in bed

I hate you
that I am 25
and still can’t sleep nights
that my gut still wrenches tight
I have lain awake for two nights
as I visited my lover’s family
simple fear of the reminders
holiday gatherings and pretense
questions and polite conversation
of where I am from
and the sweet denial
of the existence of a life before

when I stood in the kitchen
and mother told me you didn’t exist
she would never believe—
such a simple betrayal
I walked away without tears
that pain was nothing
in comparison
I believed in nothing by 14

I knew how santa
liked his eggs in the morning
how he liked his bacon crisp
and toast buttered well