FIGHT

I thought I had posted this forever ago, but I couldn’t find it. In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), here is my poem “Fight,” written about five years ago.

Sometimes you can’t,
not when there is a weight like a
he
__av
____ya
______nc
________ho
___________r
holding you in
a deep, wet place, navy blue and churning;
even when the engine is running.
When you’re running and it’s all in
s
__l
____o
______w
motion, when you’re trapped in a
cartoon version of your real life and
even when you shout until your throat
burns the blue bright red
no one can hear you and the only place
your voice echoes is in your mind, when you
are bleeding and lost in shadow.
When you’re lost in a shadow that hovers
by day and by night, when the only thing that
remains are your scars, odd-numbered lines
that fill your dreams and even-numbered
stripes, like a zebra streaked pallid and crimson,
that are tucked, hidden away.
When you are hidden away and people look for you
but there’s nothing special about you
anymore
except for maybe the one thing
that isn’t so special.
When the world goes on,
its colors and sounds sharp and bright
and you only know dull.
When you lost who you would have become,
when you will never know her.
When it began and when it’s happening,
no matter what anyone says,
how hard they imagine,
no matter:
sometimes, it’s for the better that
you didn’t.

Sometimes, the only time you
can is when
it’s over. When you’re crumpled,
an aluminum can under a heel, trash
treasured and picked up and unfolded,
creased and pinched and molded into
something
_____something
_________that resembles something
_________like the original.
Sometimes, it’s the only time you can.

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