Used Body

My heaven came from hell

See the ash lay scattered over my past path

Feel the scars leading to my heart

Can you hear the screams through the seams I’ve sewn up over and over again?

Fear the sound of silence, for the memories she holds are underlined, in bold, and there’s nothing to drown them out when she brings them to light

The brave body I’ve built to hide my truths shatters

As do I

Revealing the weak self, suckling for a mother’s breast

Vulnerable in her death

Crying out

Begging for an escape from the mental scars that cannot be scraped away

Instead, they bleed as fresh wounds

And I stare as my past protrudes

And it’s ugly eyes stare to you

Now, I wait.

I wait for you to turn and run

And run you shall

Whether that be now

Or once you realize exactly how deep these bruises really run

And what I already have

They aren’t leaving

They’re not going away

So run.

As will I

Time and time again

Suturing over the sutures I’ve torn

And so, you’ve witnessed the pain in the mask I’ve worn

Show the scorn you feel

The scorn I see when I look back at me

Now go on.

Run.

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America. Home of the broken and the caged

Think back

To the first time you learned how to ride a bike

Your parents hands holding you up by your armpits, steadying you every step of the way until they weren’t

But the words, “I’m right here, you can do it!” Were repeated in your ear to calm your fears

Remember the first time you fell and scraped you knee?

The arms that held you?

The lips that pressed and like magic made the tears fade?

The way you feel to this day when your family tells you it’s all going to be okay?

Remember sleeping on a concrete floor

Caged behind bars and a locked door?

Remember the drugs that they gave you to keep you quiet

To calm the riot before it started?

When your captors took apart any family you had

And after taking your mom

Your dad

They took to raping everything else you had

Including friends as young as six years old

Then taping mouths shut with threats of abuse

And promises of never seeing your family again and the blame fell in your hands?

I didn’t think you would.

These aren’t childhood memories that anyone should have

And yet, it’s happening today.

In the land of the free and the brave

We’re holding families begging on their knees

Refugees we refuse to refuge running from a place they cannot call home anymore searching for rescue

Trying to save their children from being sold to the war

Only to wind up naked of everything they know at our door

And we turn a blind eye

Until their cries make their way to our shore, a mother desperate for her child’s safety

Only to be received as a criminal

Put under lock and key

Putting them in a different kind of war because “this is our home, we got here first.”

If home is where the heart is, America is no longer a home

I cannot see her heart.

I Remember

You.

You said you loved me well over a thousand times in the year and a half together we had.

You must’ve meant it. I hear you bring it up to faces I’ve never seen even now.

Do you remember the first day you thrusted your love upon me?

And into my quivering, weeping body?

As I laid on my side, a shaking, broken mess

Wondering why?

I loved you.

You told me that if I didn’t let you do what you did, that I didn’t really mean it.

So I wept and choked on my tears

And you.

Remember?

Remember the days

You dismembered all the ways

I found happiness until it was just you left?

The times you hit me, light enough to not leave a mark or bruise?

But oh the ways you abused my mind.

And everyone thought you were so kind

Hell, so did I.

You.

You listened to the stories of him two days after that battle finally ended

And you reprimanded his actions

How could anyone treat somebody like me that way?

How did somebody do that for so long and get away with it?

Remember when I asked for a friend in you, and nothing more?

Remember the moment we clarified that we would only be friends who adored one another?

When we discussed our current crushes excitedly?

And two days later you invited me over

Cause we had to finish all the beer to get you in the clear when your parents returned.

A National Treasure drinking game finished us quickly.

I remember thinking this would be a fond memory in our friendship.

We exchanged poetry and stories of our mental health.

You told me you were diagnosed with manic depression.

That a word as simple as no

Would throw you into a fit that could last days.

That it was hard to find ways out

That police, doctors, and your parents all had to find you in those cases and even then couldn’t help.

And then you asked for a kiss.

I was repulsed

I was hurt

I was mad

And I was terrified of my reply and what it would do to you.

I tried to change the subject

To object, politely

Then you asked again and reluctantly I let out a yes.

And oh boy

Do you remember how you did try to shove your hands down my pants?

When I ran to your fridge for a glass of water

I didn’t stop drinking as you watched and waited like a shark

Standing over me explaining how I tasted in the dark

And invited me to your room.

I suddenly got an emergency text from my sister who absolutely needed me home

And I drunk drove.

I’m really not proud of that.

I sobbed.

I didn’t stop crying the whole way home,

Nor once I was in bed.

I just had the moments on replay in my head.

Can you answer you’re earlier question?

How could anyone treat somebody like me that way?

You.

Do you remember asking me for help?

Telling me all your friends left you and you were trying to better yourself to get them back and prove yourself to not be the monster they believed.

I offered a haircut.

During which, you were horrified to hear some of your friends had not been so friendly to me

That I was the “bitch who kissed Paul and thought she was too ‘good’ for him.”

It was a bummer, he seemed like such a nice dude, a tortured soul and a beautiful poet.

As the night went on, our conversations turned to dawn.

And you asked if we could just cuddle, as friends who had both bared their hardships and needed to be held

To hold

And nothing more.

I said yes.

Then when you pressed your dick into my back

You asked if I could feel that

If I knew what it was

You giggled and told me it was for me and you grabbed my ass

I laid frozen

Mind numb

I couldn’t process what you had just said or done

Until you put your lips on mine

Then my mind snapped out of its trance and I ran.

You still don’t understand why I was scared.

I guess Paul was right.

I was that bitch.

You.

Do you remember?

Because I don’t.

What I do, was a night of debauchery with my three guy friends

In my last night that would never end

Running from a crazed person who chased us to our car

Taking celebratory shots once in the “safety” of home

And then I woke up to strange fingers inside of me

The smell of alcohol and cigarettes emanating from between your teeth as you shoved your tongue into my mouth.

When I finally realized what was happening, that the situation was lacking a yes from me, I turned.

I tried to get up but I was too drunk to do that.

So I laid there and cried with the arms that brought the tears around my waste and caressing my face.

You.

Fuck you.

I didn’t know what to do when I woke up next to someone I never knew

Lying in a pile of my own menstrual blood.

I tried so hard to convince myself that I must’ve wanted the “fun”.

Even though you didn’t wear a condom and I would’ve made you had I been aware

Even though I knew I hadn’t wanted to before I was drunk and that I definitely wasn’t there

Even though you were sixteen at the time, and I eighteen, and that would be considered statutory rape on my end.

I tried.

I lied and played the part of a sexy play thing who knew exactly what she was doing when I really didn’t.

That scar I wear to this day

Reminds me of the way I chugged vodka the next night to silence my thoughts of “what the fuck?” and “why?”

You.

Remember the day you told me you didn’t want to hear about my past traumas?

You explained that you couldn’t handle hearing that people hurt me like that and there was nothing you could do about it now, that you’d see red and if any of my past had been close by they could be dead

That you wouldn’t be able to hold back

That that feeling would be too dangerous.

So, how’s it looking in the mirror nowadays?

You.

You were “young” and “dumb” and your parents never explained that fucking an unconscious person wasn’t sex.

How were you supposed to know better?

I stood out in freezing weather

I asked if you knew that you raped me

“Well, nobody’s put it so blatantly.

How was I supposed to be sure

When it’s happened so many times before?”

I didn’t fight back, I couldn’t

I felt bad for you

That somebody grew up in such a sheltered world

That rape was just a word they only heard in scary stories about some big strange man forcing her hand.

I told you it was wrong

But I wouldn’t sing the song that’d end up with a record for you, instead I’d set the record straight.

It wouldn’t happen again, that’s all that mattered to me.

Not my sanity

I was concerned for other girls and your safety

And I hear you did it again.

What a fucking fantastic friend.

Back to you in that mirror

Remember the terror you felt when I called to tell you something bad had happened?

When you rushed to me and held me as I wept about the boy who didn’t know?

You said you’d throw yourself between me and that bus

That it wouldn’t be just me dealing with it, it’d be us.

And when the ptsd began

When I shut up like a clam

You went fishing.

Remember when I spent the night?

We were trying to make things right, to quiet my nightmares of him, of you and her

And then I had to wake up to the strange feeling of being invaded uninvited again.

And when I tried to talk

You screamed until I was convinced I was at fault

And then it was dropped.

Just like when I dropped the frustrated hit you gave me

Or the time you kissed my forehead after grabbing her tit and proclaimed your love.

You.

You put drinks in my hand until I didn’t understand where I was or where I was going.

Fuck, I couldn’t recite my own memorized poetry or stand up straight without help.

I woke up to new bruises on my body

To a scene with no backstory.

You knew I was a “kinky whore”

From the bruises I had from someone before, an event with two party consent, so you left more.

I have some flashes of things from that night.

Telling you to stop

You thinking that was hot

And crying as I stared at the door, willing it to open, for me to wake up from this bad dream, to no avail.

I didn’t want to know the trail I had drunkenly traversed to end up cursed on your hotel floor

But I shook and stared at the marks on my legs as I asked for your recount of the night.

I don’t know why

I try to take control of something that’s already over

Why after every rape I try to repeat the event when I’m sober

As if that’ll somehow give me control of a situation where I had none

As if that’ll give me some sort of consolation

Because it’s really not fun

Being able to remember every detail of it

Falling back into a pit and watching as you replay your rape.

It’s like I have a tape that at any moment, could play.

It rewinds over and over

And over

And over

And over again.

Still hasn’t reached the end.

And the common factor of each movie happens to be me.

I play the starring role of the girl with no control.

I’m the villain, the one to blame

Not the men, who rape

But the girl who takes too many shots, who wore the dress asking for this, or the sexy sweats.

The one who over-shares and trusts too easily.

I remember.

I remember every morning after

The awkward laughter as I tried to piece the puzzle together, to process it, as I pretended to be fine

Every time I was told

That I was the fool

That I could’ve prevented it instead of just letting it happen.

So, no. That wasn’t the first time, and even if you can’t believe, you might, given the opportunity.

And it terrifies me when I say that it might not be the last time

It’s a crime, but it’s not taken seriously

And even though most people believe me, I’ve been told I’m over reacting to something that seems to happen quite often to me.

That there’s something I’m doing wrong.

It’s not the first time, but do you understand why I don’t tell everyone every time?

Why most rapes go unreported due to the retorts from the people that are trusted, let alone the ones who don’t trust the girl who cried wolf?

Even when the wolves have been under her bed this whole time?

Merry

Dear Merry I’m scared

Dear Merry I’m so unprepared

Why didn’t they say something sooner?

I wish I knew

I wish I could say all the things I needed to

Now I’m holding your hand while your shaking

And I know you don’t understand and there’s no chance of your waking

And I can’t

I can’t figure out why they’re taking you

I still need you to walk me down the isle

I still need to tell you all the things that are wrong and hear you say, “it’ll be alright” with a smile

But I know you won’t

I know you’re not coming back

And my dreams taunt me with your arms around my heart

And the vision is haunting when I wake and it’s gone.

And I remember it’s been so long

I remember that night when we got in the car, she said we were going to see you and she wouldn’t say why

The girls were laughing in the back and my mind was racing and she kept staring straight ahead and wouldn’t look at me or answer my questions and I said, “she’s dying isn’t she?”

I knew, I felt all the lies crumble in that moment of truth and I shut down.

After I spoke I saw her start to sob and I wondered what thing would rob us of you

I knew there was nothing I could do but I wanted to

I wanted it to all be a bad joke, but ten years later I’m still waiting for that punch line

I remember the doctor walking in

And I wanted to tell him to stop

I was waiting for the heart monitor to jump back on

For you to wake up

For the miracle I was promised

But as we shuffled out of the room, I looked back and saw a tear of blood and I felt the finality of it all.

I waited, I waited so long for you to come back, for weeks I woke up from dreams of you, returning to the emptiness and I still had hope.

I was told God brought his prophets back all the time, it was a cruel joke to play on a twelve year old

I was so willing to believe anything that would bring my mother back to me

That was a big lesson I had to learn quite early in life

Everyone lies, including those who you’re supposed to trust

Those are the hardest lies, the ones you want to believe

She was never coming back.

I felt the loss, I felt a newfound freedom, and a guilt over my freedom

Over the choices I made without my mother’s guidance

Over the person I was and who I was becoming

It’s been ten years.

Ten years since I lost my mother

Ten years since I started down a rough path of learning and self discovery

Ten years to find another way of coping besides running to my mom

Ten years

And it feels like yesterday

The pain and loss haven’t dulled one bit

Some days I feel it all

The anger, the fear, the sorrow, the missing pieces

I’ve just learned to live without

And with memories I try my hardest to keep alive

The ones she left with all ten of us kids

She lives on

Pouring

Knock knock knock

Someone’s at the door

Drip drop drip drop

Listen to the rain pour

There’s a rhythm to everything

From the tap of your feet moving

To the way your heart beats

Watch the waves push and pull

Crash then recede

Like the hairline of a man who’s seen the world

A cycle of death, decay, then life on repeat

Like a washing machine

Washing our brains to believe we bring beauty to bones

Just as the Bible brought stones

For the nonbelievers

We, too, got stoned and found religion

No one will believe us

The Virgin Mary Jane appeared as a burning bush and told us to eat, drink, and be merry

But be wary of those

Who would oppose our clothes

The lifestyle we chose

Because nobody knows

Where anyone goes

After a life of devotion

Under a divided nation

We live in a society that builds walls

Instead of tearing them down

Saying, “Not my neighbor”, “Not my race”

It’s not my place to put words in the mouth of someone I don’t quite believe in

But has the phrase, “love thy neighbor as thyself” lost all meaning?

I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure when it came to the thieves, broken, and whores he did no screening

There were no locked doors

For those without green cards

They were given wings to soar

And welcomed with open hearts

So please, don’t hide behind a religion based off of love whilst you spit hate out like it were a poison

Stop standing by while this country dies due to thoughts of fear that lie within

Don’t tell me we shouldn’t separate state and religion

As long as it’s yours that we fall back on

The same one to put a tax on my body

The one that doesn’t care for my autonomy

The one that’s unusually silent during the most current affairs

I had a nightmare recently

I saw the same people I pass on the streets

The same people I’ve worked alongside

The same people I call my friends

Being chased out of their homes

I felt the fear and uncertainty take hold

And on my tears I began to choke

As I tore out a page from Anne Frank’s diary

The date was today

It’s not really okay, neither am I.

It’s not you against me

It’s not I versus he

It’s a fucked up, complicated “thing”

A night full of misunderstanding. 

You weren’t aware

That I wasn’t there

To say stop

So when my body’s response

Told you yes

You quickly undressed.

I’ve been here before

A subservient whore

Whether it was due to my blood alcohol content level

Or the years of conditioning to be obedient before.

I didn’t want it

I never did

Yet there’s a growing number that hasn’t stopped no matter how much I beg.

It’s not your fault

It’s not mine

But every time

It happens, I become less of what I was so sure I was.

I question every word I said

Can’t help but wonder what I did

How I dressed?

I used to believe I was too strong for this.

 I was wrong.

It’s not about strength

There’s not really a way to predict or prevent 

Besides telling the truth:

I was raped.

You raped me.

There’s no excuse.

So let’s embrace this fact

Teach each other

Learn from the past

And together, make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Good people do bad things sometimes

It doesn’t make them bad people

But don’t let the good excuse their crimes.

July 27, 2015

Don’t try to trick me into a kiss

Don’t guilt trip me for not wanting those lips

A kiss? A kiss should not feel like this

One that is forced upon trembling tips

Treacherous tales tumble to tell a convincing concoction to coerce me into something I do not want

Do you even care?

You crave a connection so you pull one out of thin air

You say from the first night you saw me you wanted a kiss

Then you try to explain why it means more than this

More than an attraction to Boyd parts

A different feeling, one from the arts

Yet you say you wante it from the beginning

So tell me, did my eyes portray a deeper meaning?

Did my body tell you my story, my past?

Was everything we had in common directly related to the curve of my ass?

Let’s call it for what it is, a simple desire

Don’t attempt to name it something else and name yourself a liar

You wanted me for my body, my face, before you knew me at all

You cannot fool me with pretty lies that stretch far too tall

A kiss meant more to me than you would ever know

You hear that and still ask for just one before you go

Just one

One kiss and multiple lies

Led to your demise

In my eyes

Standing with a million excuses and reasons at my front door

Fine

You can have your kiss and nothing more

September 17, 2015

“Lay with me.”

Can two friends only lie together when their genders do not match?

The flies buzz into my brain

“Or don’t, the decision is yours.”

I swallow a frog to silence their wings and hear low croaks of warning inside my stomach instead

I pass it off as hunger as I sit upon the mattress

They blame the temperature as chicken skin covers my body, but I can feel the frog lap at my spine anxiously

The fleece then covers me and I try to draw focus to the tv screen, my brain filled with fuzzy electricity

“I want to cuddle with you.”

Does it matter what I want?

The thought sticks to the outstretched tongue, underlined and in bold as my body begins to be wrapped in strange limbs 

Strange? Are we not friends?

A resounding, “I don’t know” leaves the unanswered questions to float through my carcass and echo through my bones

Eyes that I cannot see peer over my shoulder as foreign fingertips trace paths that soon become trenches through every inch that is me

Laughter leaps from behind and sends my thoughts running through the tumultuous fog only to wind up shivering at the corner of “I don’t know” and the never ending, unanswered questions

Children giggling from the lungs of a man, my heart hopping as I try to pry my eyes open at the ribbeting that screams a deafening, “Go! Run! Leave!”

My mind defeated by my limp body

Suddenly suffocated, my lips pull away, lifting my corpse and indecisive mind with the need to breathe

Combining, reuniting two lost halves to create a lost whole with the knowledge and clarity that not only was there a want, there was also a primal need to go

“That was amazing.”

Absent are the “I don’t know”‘s in my mind

Our answers lie in different realms as did you and I

You asked if it was real, while I desperately desired it to be but a fabrication

“I can’t stop thinking.”

Please do

She is not yours to have

Become the writer and write her into the pages until she’s just another story

A beautiful piece of fiction with no chance of reality

Convince the reader she never was and read her the tale she’ll never be

You truly believed you couldn’t have her 

And with that notion created a lock and threw away the key

Simply put

You put her on a high pedestal that not even she could reach

It’s structure; your bones

The foundation; tall stories that sway and crumbled at the touch of truth

You want to stand a chance

But you buried your legs too deep under sands of deceit

So watch and weep as the waves pull her out to sea

The winds slap your face and fill your throat with the bitter taste of envy

Salt occupies your lungs and stains your battered cheeks

She is the puzzle you’ll never solve

Not due to a missing piece

Dig your claws underneath skin

Plastered to exoskeleton

And stretch your fingers with every bit of your being to peer within

You’ll still be searching blindly

Perhaps it’s time to stop writing mysteries

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