The Gestures That Sank Straight Into Her Skin: A Poem

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The girls cut her body open and rolled her

Through waves of salt, she froze and collapsed

Within herself. They spat their curses on her crumbling

Flesh and felt omnipotent yet infected with self-loathing.

 

They wanted to see her in pain, their power echoing

Across her skin, everything that they suffered from

Transferred onto her, her body deemed useless, repulsive,

Weak. A pleasure that bore thorns. Their sense of selves

Would never recover, they’d never be able to hide who they were.

 

They pirouetted around her, raptors, sheep and tormentors,

Projecting their sense of powerlessness, frustrations and anger

Onto her, because she was on her own, because she cried, because

She was too afraid to fight back.

 

She woke up with fears burning in her stomach, in her head,

Every move misinterpreted, disqualifying her, a plaything

Moulded and deformed into oblivion, beyond recognition.

She unlearned who she was, her identity leaked out of her body.

 

Caught in and paralysed by the vicious circle of victimhood.

The cage grew smaller, more eviscerating, no hand offered

To her in solidarity, no cries to arrest their gestures of destruction,

No words spoken in love to save her, to reactivate her courage

To blast that cage and send those girls back to their own circles of hell.

woman relaxing in a tub of milk bath
Photo by Kristina Nor on Pexels.com

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