Burden

There’s this space in my chest

that fills me. 

Existing heavily and thoroughly.

Maybe it’s the lack of sleep 

making me crazy. 

My body existing around the abyss,

paradoxically consumed by its essence.

Inside of me but not of me. 

Of me, but my dreams are not part of the recipe.

My dreams absorbed or worn like skin, but just the beginnings survive. 

The ends may yet live in the blackness or just beyond it.

Inside of my hollow chest is weighted nothingness. 

Or inside of the hollow nothingness, I exist? 

How can one know if in the abyss? 

I’ve never known how to point to something

that was formless. 

I cannot wait to breath, yet all I do is wait for the next inhale. 

I want silence, but everything screams it’s presence. 

I want love but would settle for contempt.

I want peace but would settle for adrenaline. 

I want meaning but would settle for the end of it. 

Spitting bars about the end of it.

Whispering I just want a friend in it.

Find Me in the Bold Print

Find me in the broken places

I’m here, in the cuts that my 13 year old self made

Razor blades on the wrist

Desperate for attention from my parents

And only finding refuge in the arms of a man

whose 30 year age gap didn’t stop him from undressing himself in front of me,

The door behind my back

Heart pounding…

As he called me a lush for having drank too much of the wine he had bought me

I’m here, in the darkness that took my eyesight

When my high school boyfriend first knocked me out

Realizing that bright spots surrounded with emptiness look like stars

Body hitting the floor

Waking up to his fist still going at my face

Curled into the fetal position as his foot took my breath from me

Here I be,

Held tight against the wall at 17,

His elbow on my throat,

Consciousness barely finding me

Up goes his other hand,

Knife in fist, struck out far enough to gain momentum as he means to stab me

Find me in the moment that I know I am dead

Adrenaline moving my arm, 

thrusting a left handed uppercut into his chin,

Falling to my knees as I crawl away from him in his moment of shock and imbalance

Find me in the broken places

I’m right here, 18 years old and drugged…

I let a stranger hand me a drink and now it’s time to pay the price for trusting him,

Paralyzed on the ground,

A young man standing over me with an accessing look,

The carpet running against my skin as three devils drag me into the back bedroom

Hoping to claim my innocence

This is where I am

You will find me numb in pain

Concussion dulling my reactions

My ex husband holding a chair above his head 

As he towers over my limp body

I’m here where the chair breaks open my skin

Coming down on me again and again

Until he is exhausted of aggression

Find me in my secrets

In the nightmares that haunt me…running from all the “hims”

I’m in the broken places

Where my heart has bled 

Where men have picked me out and beaten me down

Here I am, 

In the truth that love has never found me

That darkness has claimed me since I was a kid

In the place where I wish he would just hold me

And keep me safe

For once…

Find me in the bold print.