I thought about it.
Open the door and I would be safe.
Falling asleep with screaming beneath me.
The resonating voice worming its way into my brain.
The witnessing walls.
The toys shrinking in the corner of a room.
School felt like a liberation, like peace, almost.
The thought of it at least, the movement.
I couldn’t erase his voice, the terror, from my memory.
The southern waves would come in, intrude and crash against my barriers.
He would flood my body.
These accelerating steps, the anticipation of sheer violence.
I’m lying on the floor,
My heart in the open,
I never used to hide anything.
Except myself, perhaps.
The neighbours’ faces stuck to the curtains and edges of windows.
On the hunt for nighttime phantoms like me.
Their noses close to my skin.
Smelling the trap that I was in.
And I could feel their eyes all over me and
Their tactless gratitude from afar that
It happened to me, he happened to me, not to them,
I was examined, discovered, exploited and let go.
I grew up with arias of violence in my mind.
With threats and sacrifices and guilt, left and right.
These are not my feelings,
They don’t belong to me,
They were branded on my skin.
So that I would never be without them,
Shed them, hoping that they would define me forever, as well.
Hoping to reduce the original burden and sensation, split it, share it, imprint it.
Is my only option to deprive them of their meaning, symbolism and associations?
Shove them back into your yammering face?
Into a past that I cannot change, a child that I cannot save?
I’ll use your feelings for my recreation, not self-destruction.
“Face of a Girl” by Kuroda Seiki (1866-1924)