there is so much more that needed to be said
about what you did to me. I just never got the chance.
does it live in you at all? do you still sleep stiff and
soundless, like a rock eternally falling, never
quite hitting ground? do you dream of my face,
slicked with sweat and pinched in fear?
there is a quiet and somber part of me
that knows you have no idea what you’ve done.
it was just like any other encounter for you:
you pumping quick to the rhythm of your own
moans. the delicate cotton obstacles. your hand
squeezing a throat, your fingers digging into skin,
anchoring. your precious orgasm. never mind the
hole you fucked had a pulse, had a name, had a
scream stuck on her lips and fragile innocence
you shattered with every noncommittal thrust.
then again, it was just like any other encounter
for me, too. the quiet, the grime both on my skin
and creeping inside me. the pain and discomfort
I could never settle down in. the no bouncing around
my head, like a bird smashing repeatedly into
a window. looking for a way out. dying right
there on the floor for however long you lasted.
you never even noticed.
I never wanted to give you the satisfaction, but
it’s true: you took a piece of me that day. I’ve been
trying to fill it ever since with buttons and paper
planes and red lipsticks like a magpie. this isn’t me.
it’s just clutter. you took a piece of me and I’ve been
trying to pretend it never existed to begin with.
I keep this trauma like a new personality trait. I keep it
like a shout spilling from my mouth I can never restrain.
I am at a point where the world needs me to be healed.
it needs me to shut up. yet I talk about it again and
I’m scolding myself, shut up shut up, no one wants to hear this
again. every time you talk about it, you make everyone sad.
why do you find comfort being the person who makes everyone sad?
I’m threading this needle through my lips. I’m sewing it shut
so tight the terror stays trapped in my lungs. and when
I’m done, I’ll do my eyes, too. this is what I want to know:
how do I take myself out of a day that has its tongue
wrapped around my ankles, dragging me back, inch by inch?
how do I take myself out of a moment that happens again
and again and without ceasing? what do I do when everybody’s
done all they could to fix me and nothing inside me has healed?
the truth is, you didn’t take any part of me. you left behind
soot-scarred skin and a heart palpitating in its own
nerves and a vulva perpetually reliving its agony. and you
left behind a corpse- a small, shriveled version of me
attached at my rib. how she wakes screaming and shakes
the reason loose from my mind. I strangle her over
and over and still she lives, rests her head on my chest
and sighs. this is the gift from you I keep, the one
no one sees. the grief with her arms wrapped round
my waist, head bobbing beside me. the ghosts she
can’t stop seeing everywhere she looks. the way she
rips open my mouth and finally teaches me to scream.