Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Poetry Series: ME TOO

Liz Fink-Davenport

This poem is going to hurt. It's going to feel like you just had it happen. Like...just now. Not days ago, weeks, yellowed years. Dusty decades. Not under quilts of lies you tell yourself. And others. Under secrets and in the shed. Burrowed into layers of dark earth. Sleeping. But it just. Happened.

So brace yourself. Grip the counter. Hold tight to the floor with your toes. Clench your teeth. It's going to hit hard like the back of a hand.

My girl, you did not deserve it. Let me say this first. You did nothing wrong and you did not deserve it. You were being. Just being. As a female. And He took that and made it dance club sticky floor bathroom ugly. He smeared the lipstick across your face. He stopped all clocks. He put a bookmark on this page. He closed the door and you put the lock on and it stayed. But it was not what you did. He was the scorpion tail. He was the hinges. He was the devastation.

Remember how we used to think that summers lasted forever and Santa was real and that blue cotton candy was made from some kind of carnival freaking magic? Yeah. I do too. And remember waking the day after? And how nothing felt magic. And it would never again? How this thing took your gorgeous little heart and put it on the bottom of the ocean's sandy black depth? And you felt dirty. Dirty, wasn't even the word. You felt irreparably...dismantled. Anchored. By that.

It doesn't matter who He was. He. He doesn't deserve a name. You know it. Or maybe you don't. Maybe you knew it well. Maybe this was who sang goodnight lullabies to you. Maybe this was your paycheck writer. Maybe this was who you opened Christmas gifts with. Maybe this was a no-face no-name thing. Maybe this was your love. All you loved. Your whole love who you trusted.

I'm saying to you now that this thing is not you. This thing that happened...on the couch, in a tub, in an office, on the street, in your own safe bed. It is not you. Not. You. Take it out like a splinter. Squeeze it out like a cyst. Cut it from you like disease. Throw it away! Sister, chew off your own limb if need be.

Maybe you were 17 and drunk and a party. It was a friend of your brother. You remember waking in the middle and trying to move. You felt like throwing up. You had a friend get you home. After. Your brother asked that you not say anything. You don't. You can't recall who it was. But you wake from night terrors feeling pinned under a man that is forcing off your pants in a room full of strangers. You sleep walk. And talk. For years. Decades.

Me too. Me. Too. It might not be how we wanted to be sisters. But it binds us. It might not be how we wanted to first talk, but now it started. And the flood of stories keep coming. We could drown in them. A dam broken. Grip the damn counter with me. Hold tight. The water will pass. Our daughters need to know. That hinges slam on fingers. That tails are poisonous. But that unearthing dead things can be healing.

Me too, sister. Let us take those words from our daughter's tongues and devour them. So they never have to say them...except that they also believe in carnival spun magic. Me. Too.

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