THIS IS ANOTHER POEM ON ABUSE.
WE ARE POETS.
we write poems about love
on making the moon burn in our hands,
we wrote poems in numbers more than we can count.
I remember the first time I felt warm in my cheeks and the red that followed,
a quick action of his and my skin burning, stinging.
we are talking about a man we loved,
we had to,
because you can’t look at your father,
and tell him,
‘I DON’T LOVE YOU’,
our blood was knitted that way.
anxiety still grips me,
if people are made up of layers,
then paranoia is my second skin.
“DAD STOP! IT HURTS. STOP DAD, STOP”
the screams slowly turned into wasted requests.
“PLEASE DAD, PLEASE. IT PAINS.”
waking up with cold sweats and fear became a part of us,
but today, I look at you,
I look at you,
‘WE BLOSSOMED FROM OUR BRUISES.’
when other people found excuses to stay at home
I would take any chance given to get out of the house haunted by this monster,
our walls were painted yellow,
BUT TONES OF PURPLE BLACK AND BLUE WERE OUR FAVORITES.
who said art isn’t for everybody?
ask the man who played with shards of dirty whiskey bottles on my body,
ask him why he only used red which turned into purple and black?
we will tell you that wasn’t art,
art was when we turned our hands and legs into a masterpiece.
not for everyone’s taste.
we’ll show you what art is,
WE WILL SHOW YOU OUR BODIES.
our teacher taught us about metaphors in eighth grade,
a metaphor: a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.
if that is so,
then my body is a metaphor,
for a house surrounded by a ‘don’t enter’ sign
ANY INVADERS WILL BE PROSECUTED.
I guess there was an exception to my father.
there was always a trapdoor,
there always was.
we just never found it, and even if we did, we didn’t know whether to run or stay.
but we realized very early on, that a garden filled with beautiful flowers will slowly wilt and die.
in our world, monsters didn’t exist in our head,
or under the bed,
in our world,
the monsters lived with us.
and threatening us to lower our voice.
AND WE DID.
we lowered our voice till it hit rock bottom.
until we couldn’t talk to our pillows and cry ourselves to sleep.
we give this poem away.
19 years of waiting to raise my voice again,
we look up from our broken body to the sky, to breathe.
we don’t run but stay in this terrible world, to breathe.
we are healing from a pain so deep, to breathe.
we are learning not to push people away because it didn’t work out the first time we did, to breathe,
our bruises are turning brighter and fading, we’re fixing ourselves, slowly but definitely, to breathe.
WE LIKE TO CALL OURSELVES METAPHORS NOW,
for a house,
but built in stone.
AND WE WILL DECIDE WHO STAYS INSIDE IT.
And I guess, after all, this isn’t just any other poem on abuse.