She was sick of not being held
Of believing in ideals
That were paraded in front of her
Like pirouetting ballerinas with broken toes,
Backward-galloping horses in an obsolete carousel,
And that evaporated upon her touch and consent.
He’d not find her pretty enough for his list
Or he’d use her mouth, her hands, the need to be seen
Or he’d shove her into the darkness to beat the love out of her head
Or he’d call her names, the cancer in women’s backbones for centuries
Or he’d defame her, unleash other girls on her, standing tall, the conqueror.
And while she’d be collapsing into the harshness of the ground
Shedding tears that vanished into the past
She’d witness the impact of detrimental absences and tormented presences
Around her. She absorbed the leftover self-worth that landed in her lap
With outer stamps of disapproval and carelessness, anonymity, and
They’d never come close to comprehending
Who she was and what had happened to her before
They came and what they had done to her,
The scars that never cease to burn and the guilt
They infected her with, the shame, setting her body afire
Without having felt alive.
He’d rob her body of its warmth
Its will to love, its hope for reciprocation.
The rambling of his body turned everything
Within her into a nightmare that was never hers
To see, neither to own nor to inherit.
He hammers his lovelessness into the bodies of girls
And punishes them because of the lack he feels.
He observes them and wants to empty them
By invading their inner lives, their desires and dreams.
He is a stain on the memory, a crippled moment in time
Full of false images and wrong turns.
“In the Grass” by Arthur Hughes (1832-1915)