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Phoenix

You have witnessed my descent

in a Sears parking lot.

You didn't know he'd tried five times to kill me, but still.

I was running, screaming, terrified

as he chased me down in the pick-up and almost ran me over.

He got out, grabbed me, threw me in the truck.

I'm sure I looked crazy. But still. No one. Moved.

He broke bones that night, and all I could feel was the pain of your silence.


You have witnessed my descent

My sweet child

And for that I am so sorry.


You have witnessed my descent

on the freshly manicured lawn.

I smelled of hospital disinfectant and anesthesia, you of Scope and cigarettes.

I tried so hard to keep it quiet, I took so much.

But when he slashed my neck with a broken ashtray

I had to call the police.

Yes, your note was clear, but there was so much blood.

I can't renew your lease, you said.

Too many disturbances, you said.

Reflects poorly on the property, you said.

After all, this isn't the projects.


You have witnessed my descent

You, who could not fathom a universe in which

a family friend, a dentist, would put me under and molest me

during a routine exam.

"Liar. Slut. I've known him my whole life."

You who gave me life, at 8 you were my life.

And I'd sooner believe the fault was mine than think for a moment

the wrong was yours.

So over the years

when my brother, my boyfriend, my husband put their hands and

teeth and penises in places I didn't want, I knew it wasn't right but it felt

deserved. 


The plight of the fallen.


Cry-baby.

Emotional

Tease.

Whore.

Weak.

Strong.

Diminutive.

Bitch.

Nice.

Forgiving.

Vengeful.

Quiet.

Loud.

Frigid.

Hot.

Woman.


You have witnessed my descent.






Now watch my rising. 

Skin
Night Prayer
 

Comments 2

Hannah Neighbour on Wednesday, 25 July 2018 08:37

This is so powerful. Gave me chills. Such a full story in such a short piece. And I love the ending when witness becomes watch. Gorgeous.

This is so powerful. Gave me chills. Such a full story in such a short piece. And I love the ending when witness becomes watch. Gorgeous.
Mary Neighbour on Saturday, 01 September 2018 12:00

This was difficult to keep reading, but I'm glad I did.

This was difficult to keep reading, but I'm glad I did.
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Monday, 06 December 2021

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