the honest truth
i’m 19, and a college student--
no, strike that,
i dropped out after a semester
because i couldn’t afford it--
no, strike that,
i flunked out because i couldn’t handle it.
the honest truth?
a month before i turned eighteen
i was raped.
and with fingers on my throat
and in my skin
and in my dreams,
i only barely made it
through senior year,
but i thought that i’d be better,
because i didn’t know what else to be,
but the fingers never left me
and it took all i had just to keep on
and then two months after college started,
i listened to my friend kill herself,
heard her sob into the line,
and the bang, and the silence,
and i hated myself for not saving her
and i hated myself for hating her
and i hated myself because all i thought
before bursting into tears
why did she get to do it,
why did she get to leave?
all my problems,
all my pain,
and she got relief,
and i was left behind.
and i couldn’t do it,
couldn’t go to class,
couldn’t go to work,
couldn’t find it in me to crawl out of bed
and look at the world.
everything was shit--
no, strike that,
i was shit,
and everything went wrong.
so i lied,
because it was all i remembered how to do,
and after i’d been kicked out,
i’d been taken in,
because i cried and crooned,
and wove a tale of not how i was pitiful,
but how i was poor,
because it was easier to deal with money issues
than mental issues.
but i made it through the year
and back to a place
that everyone else called my home,
where i was beaten and cursed
and told to die
(and what kind of home charges rent,
by the way)
by a person who didn’t even know how useless
as far as my mother was concerned,
i had a 4.0 gpa,
but even that
wasn’t good enough.
i’m out, or will be soon,
but i’m poor, for real,
working as a waitress at a job that doesn’t cover
my rent, and forgetting my past,
in favor of the lunch and dinner
(i knew languages once, didn’t i?
built websites and programs,
spoke with natives in France
and learning more)
and what was the point?
no degree, no experience,
no money, no pride.
the fingers haven’t left.
i hear his voice,
i don’t know where i’m going.
SOMETIMES I WANT THE NIGHT TO CHOKE ME.
IS THAT SO BAD?
IS IT SAD THAT I WANT RED HANDS?
SOME NIGHTS IT GETS SO BAD THAT I WISH FOR DEATH TO TAKE ME AND MY DEMONS TO BREAK ME.
SOME NIGHTS IT GETS SO BAD THAT I THINK THEY WILL.
IF YOU'RE READING THIS:
I'M HALFWAY DEAD
AND I NEED YOU TO TAKE ME TO THE OTHER SIDE.
I'M TOO WEAK FOR SUICIDE.
I NEED YOUR HELP.
THIS IS A PLEA-
PLEASE TAKE ME.
I DON'T CARE IF THERE'S A HEAVEN OR A HELL,
I JUST NEED A RESTING PLACE FOR MY SOUL TO DWELL AFTER I RIP MYSELF TO SHREDS.
I CAN'T DEAL WITH MY HEAD AND THE THOUGHTS LOCKED INSIDE.
BLOODY LIPS AND VIOLET KNUCKLES ARE GROWING ON ME.
I THINK I LOOK GOOD IN BLACK AND BLUE.
I'M BEGINNING TO COME TO THE UNDERSTANDING THAT
MAYBE GOD DIED BECAUSE HE WANTED TO
BUT MAYBE I ALREADY KNEW.
yeah, maybe i have some fucked condition where my arms are always either on fire or as numb as my empathy.
yeah, maybe i live in a house where the only relevant dinner conversations vary between divorce and ambiguous cynicism.
maybe sometimes i lie on my bedroom floor for hours.
but that’s not why i’ve run away.
that’s not why i’ve been AWOL for so long.
it isn’t because of sadness.
it isn’t because of self-loathing.
it isn’t even because the floor is comfortable as fuck.
maybe it’s because i happened to luck out
because i happened to write something that isn’t shit
scared that maybe it’s done.
i’ve hit top.
i’ve hit you so much
i could call you a slut without even blinking.
fuck this is scary.
it’s scary being appreciated.
it’s scary having things expected of you.
it’s scary to not be useless.
fuck i must sound crazy spouting all of this
but i can’t help it.
i have words.
i’m just a person
just another guy
and i will admit to all of you
and this is how you breathe:
i. my mother plays with
while i play with the lock
on the bathroom door
my hands have stopped
the doorknob a long
ii. some days
i'd rather be splayed dead
and bloody on the
street than walk all
the way back
iii. she never lets me sleep
as long as i need;
can she tell that closing
my eyes is all it takes to fade
away from this place
iv. i want to be somewhere
a million miles away
please stop screaming
i can't sleep
This Is Why Some People Never Go Hungry
in a pool of blood
Red blood then
Brown crusts now
Staring sightlessly into the sky
They used to be a blue grey
Now they're mushy and bland
I bet they taste mushy too
You can feel her skin
Once pale and smooth
Now wrinkled and rotting
And bloody and grey and blue
Crawl in and out
Of eye sockets
And the nose and mouth
And even the ears too
They've eaten her up
From the inside out
I look down
On this grotesque
And I think to myself,
"What a beautiful way to die"
And I take her bones and grind them while watching the maggots feast
I make them into ceramic
If you can make ceramic with cow bones, why not human bones?
And then I melt them into little pots and paint them red with her blood
I take the maggots and squish them, one by one
I fill the pots with their insides
Oh, there's enough bone to make one more pot
a big pot is made
and I take her head off of her body and stare at it
"This would make wonderful soup"
Ring into the night
Stains my lips
And dribbles down my chin
And I enjoy
My pots and pans
as an undertaker
A Tangible Anxiety
She makes believes her house has new walls and creates allegories about rotting foundations. In her mind mildew crumbles at her feat and the stench of disillusion is so thick in the air she cannot breathe. She has never seen these wall, but she pretends that there are terminates nesting in them. They come out while she sleeps and crawl into her ears, breeding in the crevices of her brain. They feed on her will. She calls countless exterminators, but they look at her like she's lost her mind. There are no walls, there are no termites, it is all in her head. The stench of disillusion is so thick in the air she can not breathe, mildew is growing on her body, it starts on her feat. She begins to imagine that the walls are stretching, they have created a labyrinth around her that she cannot escape. The termites are back. They are nesting in the walls. If she stills long enough she can feel their babies teething on her brain.
Vulnerable & Hopeless
She laid on the hard, cold concrete floor in pain. Her left eye was swollen shut, and her lips and nose were busted. A few of her ribs felt broken, almost as broken as her soul in that moment.
She was naked and shivering from the cold. Her hands and feet were bound by a thick rope, and every time she tried to move, the rope dug into her wrists and ankles.
She was so tired, not just physically but also mentally. She fought for so long to try break free, but the more she struggled, the worse the pain became.
Then, she heard the door open. Light flooded onto her bloody face, with the warmth from outside the room rushing onto her cold and bruised skin. He slowly approached her, as if examining her from a distance to see how much enjoyment he could squeeze out of her.
He grabbed a hold of her by the hips. She wanted so badly to move or scream, but she absolutely couldn't. She had no energy and, more importantly, will left to make her do something. She just looked out of the open door to what was beyond the room. She saw a moderate sized desk with papers and a lamp sitting on top of it. There was no chair beside the desk. Instead, a stool took its place.
Then, he picked her up to where she was on my hands and knees. He began to take off his belt. Then his pants. Then his underwear. She felt the pain and pressure of a penis up her anus. This was the third time today, and she had lost count of how many times this had happened in total. Yet, she still wasn't use to the penetration. She still felt violated each time. She still felt as if she didn't deserve this. As if this was the first time.
He rode back and forth for just a few minutes before being finished. But it felt like eternities were between each movement. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth.
Then, as he was redressing his lower body, she managed to utter, "Why..?"
He paused for a moment. Then, as he continued putting his pants on, he said in the bitterest of tones to her, "Because I like it." He began to walk away. "And you do too, bitch."
Then he shut the door and walked away. And there she laid, vulnerable and hopeless. She knew that this was her life now and that she would always just be an instrument for men's sexual frustrations. She had accepted that.
But what she couldn't accept was why it had to be that way, why God had to play such a cruel joke on her, and she knew that that was going to haunt her for all of her life.
“Come here, come on.” A soft voice cooed. I poked my head around the large green dumpster.
Two hands held out a red container. “Come here.” The container waved back it back and forth.
My mouth watered as I smelled something sweet and salty. Waves of steam rose off skinny golden sticks. I crawled closer ignoring the urge to run and hide. Two large orange shoes stepped closer sending me flying back down the darkened alley.
I peeked around a bag of trash only to find golden sticks laying on white paper. I crawled closer to hot food my stomach yelled with excitement. Within seconds I had devoured what was on the paper. As I licked the salt off my lips, my eyes caught another pile of steaming yellow sticks. I ran towards them forgetting about danger. I had gone too long without food all I wanted was the warm salty sticks. I was licking the paper when the soft voice spoke again.
“Hey, look at this.”
This time I didn’t shy away instead I crept closer to the road. There was a line of yellow straws that led to an open car door. On the seat lay a large sandwich. Fear gripped me, but it was food, good hot food. Finally I couldn’t help myself I jumped on the seat and buried my face in the sandwich.
I wasn’t scared when the door slammed shut. I only looked up when the other side opened as a boy with shaggy brown hair slid in. The sandwich dropped out of my mouth as terror set in. I banged my body against the door trying to get out.
“Hey, there. It’s okay.” The car rumbled under my feet and I began to whimper. The sound of crinkling paper made me cower. “Hey, look. Look at this. I bet it’s better than what you’ve had to eat in a long time.”
My attention was drawn to his hand. There was the prize of all foods—a doughnut. I lunged, trying to grab the pastry out of his hand. He laughed and patted me on the head.
“Sit down. Sit. Good that’s it.” He set the white circle next time me, I dove in. “Hey, watch the fingers now.”
After a few minutes I sighed and slumped against the seat. For the first time in months my belly was full. I looked over at the boy who kept stealing glances at me. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the warmth.
I woke up to strong hands gripping me. Fear over took me. I let out high pitched screeching sounds as I clawed and bit. This wasn’t right memories of the dark gripped me making me thrash more. The boy wrapped his arms around as he pulled me to his chest.
“Hey now, it’s okay. We’re home now.” He grunted when my teeth found his arm. He pushed open a door, blinding white light hit my eyes.
“Mom!” The boy called out. I shoved myself out of his arms. I landed on a hard white surface. I sat there for a moment until I heard footsteps. Footsteps usually meant bad things were going to happen. I scrambled to find a hiding spot. The floor was slippery like the ice on the pond in winter. I couldn’t get a grip on the ground. Finally I shoved myself in a corner my eyes darting around wildly.
“Mom!” He shouted again.
“What?” A tired voice responded.
“You have to come to the kitchen.” The boy was facing me, his legs spread wide and arms held out ready to catch me if I ran. A tall willowy woman stepped in the room.
“Brent, do you realize I had to stop in the middle of—oh my God Brent!”
“Mom, can we keep it?”
“Brent where did you find it?” Her eyes were wide and her voice trembled.
“I found it in the alley digging in a dumpster over on 56th street.” Brent shrugged his shoulders. “I figured it needed a home. So—can we keep it?” Brent’s mom sank to her knees in front of me. I bowed my head and looked away.
“Brent! This is a kid! A human being, you don’t just pick them up and take them home.” Tears flooded her face. “Go call the cops. We can’t keep this child.” She turned towards me and opened her arms.
“Come here, child. I won’t hurt you.” I turned away from her, facing the gleaming cabinets. She inhaled loudly.
“Who would do something like that to a child?” I flinched as she ran her fingers over the scabbed over welts on my back.
“Yeah, so can we keep it since nobody wanted it?” Brent asked eagerly.
“No.” The woman responded. She wrapped her arms around me, rocking me gently. For the first and last time I felt the love of a mother’s touch.
Crippled No More
Darkness, thanks all I seem to attract
That even as a child my soul's been detached
And I trod a life already set for me
Poverty stricken, pity she...
Yes! That's what they say when they see
A sad child trying too hard to be somebody
Beaten down by words, by the enemy
Good for nothing! Loser, you're nobody!
The words sing in my head even today
Calling me to come but I refuse to stay
And even though cold pavements were my home
Have faith, what's the sense? I break.
Men come and go from my mom, from me
At age fifteen my innocence was ripped away by three
It was then I contemplated tasting blood
My own blood-
- I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
I grew on hating the world, addicted to sex way too young,
At one point it was the rope around my neck giving me comfort, then it was the inviting sharpness of a blade to my skin, hate win!
And each day as the sun set and stray away
So does my thoughts, I reflect on that day
When I liberated myself, I'm twenty now;
Still fighting a battle life's already won.
It’s a place I thought I knew.
Until I found it.
In a bottle of cheap whiskey,
And lost time.
I found it in a blade between my ribs.
It was in that puddle that they picked me out of...
I found it in that floor.
Bleeding, unaware, and still breathing.
In cleaning my own blood with the wipes that the nurse threw on the bed.
In the trashcan that was slid over to toss them in.
I found it in the pain from the surgery.
In the stitches.
And in the scars I have now.
If only there were memories to go with them...