THE DOUBLE EDGED SWORD OF SURVIVAL
it has never been safe
to be inside my body.
all I have ever known how to do
is disappear. I call it
swallowing myself whole—
I might still be there; allowing
my body to exist in the room but
I’ve never really lived there.
all my memories exist through a microscope;
I am not the girl who sits with the bad people,
I am the fly on the wall with eyes which
catch everything but a body that feels nothing.
whenever they touched me
I left / ran as fast as I could
up the spiral staircase in my brain &
busted my way out of my scalp because
the pain was always too much for me
to know how to survive without
somehow escaping the worst of it.
this place is scary—it has never been
much of a home. would you call home
a place inhabitable to anyone but the ghost
of a broken child? these bones are more
museum than body; there is a memory
attached to each crack, crevice, creak—
curators study the flesh covering me &
at night they dust off the places which
are not touched as often as the ones which
have been rubbed raw from visitors.
too many people have come & gone,
looked inside my eyes to see death up close
& then turned their backs to the spectacle of my body;
it has never been safe to be inside of here &
everybody knows it only
they are able to escape before night time when
I am forced to lay in bed with nothing but
these bones in this museum where the memories play on a big screen
of people coming in & touching in the places where the curators
put up a giant sign which read,
“Please do not touch this exhibit. It is fragile & your hands will shatter it.”
all I want to do is leave & that is how
survival has sunk its teeth into me—
teaching me how to disappear from this body
when the world comes too close & I am
suffocating in the fear that I have to
feel the way it aches to live here.
they say your body is your home & you must stop trying to destroy it & I say yes,
I know exactly what I’m doing, don’t you see?
my body is my home & home
has never been a safe place for me & that
is why I’m trying to take it apart piece by piece;
my body is my home & in my home I am
turned from child into meat & I don’t want
to live here anymore. It has never been safe
to be inside my body so I am trying
to tear it down & yes, I know that I am
destruction in human form but
it has never been safe for me to be anything but crumbling.