just because i am a warrior

a 51year old survivor of verbal violence

of violence of all types

does not mean

i am not fucking tired.

because i am.
tired of explaining myself

tired of finishing the dry white wine from

italy; when i was told only red grapes grew

only producing red wine

which was a fucking lie

like everything else

you whispered.



i prefer the darkness of a sunrise.

it is forgiving. non-judgmental.

it allows me to feel how i feel most mornings.

childless. motherless.

the guilt that comes along with it.

i remember all of my dreams.

in them i do everything differently.

write my history differently.

i erase losing loved ones to addiction

other diseases too; depression and self-loathing.

erase drinking at an early age.

erase dating losers at all ages.

choosing the country over the city.

picking an introverted career like

helping my zio in southern italy herd his sheep

over working in behavioral health.

at age fifty not able to forgive myself

for appreciating the darkness of the sunrise.



“Dad, I tested positive for COVID.”


“Dad, I cannot come Christmas Eve.”

In the tradition of my Italian culture, fish is eaten on Christmas Eve. This would be the first Christmas Eve my dad ever hosted without my mom.

He was proud when he told me he found the perfect dried cod. “It soaks for days to get all the salt out. It will be ready and perfect on Friday.”

I had perfected a chilled grey goose vodka and cranberry juice since testing positive. On our nightly video chat, perfected drink in hand, my father asked with a sincere and thoughtful tone, “What the hell am I going to do with all this fish?”



i am not sure when

i stopped breathing

i was so good. for so long.

taking a deep breathe in

my lungs filled with air

unlike decades ago.

camel cigarette smoke for as long

as i could hold it.

breathe out circles slowly.

i felt a warm buzz that lasted

from the time i sat at the bar

on rusty a stool with ripped plastic

my skinny self

stared at you playing pool

quit cigarettes before i ever quit you.

ahhhhhhhhhh. i breathe out.



adriana suriano

adriana suriano

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.