By Fiona Helmsley

My hot mess mentoress.
My sweet muse of self- abuse.
Who showed me how to wear
A dime- store diadem in my hair
And all my scars as accessories.

Orphan born and bred to fend.
Her world wasn’t a stage
But a collapsible playpen.

Lady Slattern.
Said we’re sodomites just the same
Whether we take it in the ass
Or take it in the vein.

When she got the final fever
From a tiny cotton sliver
And the doctor said to me, “Only blood can see her,”
I showed him where we’d cut our fingers.

All she taught me
I’ve yet to learn.
My beloved teacher
Her degree in burns.

Fiona Helmsley is a writer of creative non-fiction and poetry. Her writing can be found in various anthologies such as How Dirty Girls Get Clean and Air In The Paragraph Line and online at websites such as Jezebel, xoJane and The Rumpus. She can be reached through her blog Flee Flee This Sad Hotel.