When I was born you composed
A requiem for me.
You saw me as an empty vessel
To be filled with your bile and
A blank page with nothingness underneath.
Voicelessness and erasure.
You pressed me into the shredded costumes of dolls.
Corset-mouthed, blue-cheeked, terror-hearted,
And told me the world had died of impossibilities
And I believed your adult mouth. Rocking my tombstone
In your arms, suppressing who I was so you could step into
Me. And you stomped the fields where flowers grew.
I thought that I was going to die,
Leaving no traces on the mattress,
Not even in your heart and memory,
Sleep would never protect me, my brain
Would act as eyes and ears and you thought
Your crimes were safe, that you found a secret passage,
My body became a landmap, arteries, skin, and you discarded pieces
Of me, fermented, across deadened surfaces, spellbound.
You carved your desires through the hair on my arms.
Awoke my body unnaturally and I never learned
What consent was. You cut out words from my vocabulary.
You tried to incapacitate me in every way possible.
Time haunted me, the darkness of the countdown,
The empty eyes through the crevice of the door, the
Peacefulness of my flesh and blood, how could
The lives under the same roof be so incredibly different?
You brought me into a world
Where nobody believed me,
Where I was on my own, as a child,
Nobody listened to me until it was faded
And buried in an invisible cemetery,
Too late, for you, maybe, not for me.
I built cathedrals for the life inside of me
That you thought you massacred.
Every time you touched me I would start to rebuild
My own ruins, my flooded skin, and sing hymns
To what I kept alive, what I healed and nurtured and
You disrupted and disarmed and decomposed.
“David Garrick between Tragedy and Comedy” by Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)