To Fracture A Shell

I tried to read his face.

I forced myself to understand where

His rage came from. I wanted to

Find its origins within the texture of his skin.

The roots afire, the voice a war drum, his eyes

Loathed the sight of me,

I looked just like him.


I had been a child and you begged me to mother you.

You would never treat me like someone who needed protection.

Not once. And you became blind. And comfortable in your adult costume.

You shoved me onto a path and forced me to walk.

You never mentioned all the dangers that I would face on my own.

You never warned me that they would behave exactly like you.


“Woman in a Red Dress” by John White Alexander (1856-1915)

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