How Trauma Dresses at Daybreak

How Trauma Dresses at Daybreak

I woke this morning in parts,

making coffee with crossed wires

and crying coconut milk.

Washed my body in two minds;

one mine, one a critical mother,

blood weeping from cracks in her breast bone.

A broken mirror watches

as clothes are chosen with baggy fit for comfort,

pulled on with careful movements,

for the world cannot know

of the war I wear in my chest

when I am missing whole pieces of woman.

Digging Up My Body Parts

Digging Up My Body Parts

I wore a long-sleeved black dress;

chiffon, bow tied at the front

and floating,

floating but heavy.

You said I looked nice today

and I wheedled out a ‘thank you’ with a side joke

of ‘don’t I always?’

Just keep it light hearted, don’t think about it.

Keira Knightley plays Colette,

a true story about a man’s power

and a woman’s fight to recover hers,

but you’re oblivious to its significance

and the meaning saunters past you.

I think the meaning sauntered past him too,

last time I wore this black dress at the cinema.

I don’t remember what we watched

but I can point you to our seats,

describe how he was sat on my right,

sweaty hand on my leg crossed away from him,

eyes baring down into my skin

and my red summer shoes,

where no amount of clicking those heels

would ever get me home.

Buoy

Buoy

It’s a swimming costume in the bath

kind of day.

It’s a child

pressing for privacy.

It’s the creeping fingers

crawling under your skin

in silent scorn.

It’s reading between the lines

between the lines

between the lines.

It’s force

that’s full body

but weak

like cheap shampoo.

It’s tears

mixing with a torrential shower

drowning your screams

for what feels like

fifty thousand hours.

It’s the trembling

no amount of layers

can cure.

It’s terror

without even needing

to open the door.

Man Up

Man Up

I have worked with women

who love their men

even

as his hands grip her throat

and he gloats,

whilst watching her choke,

over how she takes him back

by the time he counts to ten.

I have seen the courage of women

who leave their men

alone

with pregnant belly and two children

in a land of words foreign,

she prays I answer my phone

and find her a safe home

where he’ll never touch them again.

I have felt the pain of women

caused by a system

that didn’t lock up their men;

he only raped her yesterday

and she tells me she’s okay

but the tears spilling down her cheeks

give her fear away

as a lack of evidence gave him his freedom.

Here I stand as a woman

standing with women

who are stood on by men.

All convinced that they knew them,

so now don’t all go thinking

that it could never happen

or you’d never let yourself

be in that situation

because we’re all in motion

on a spectrum

of tolerance and bystander inaction,

and to think

that those who get bruised

are any different

than you is fiction.

Being a victim

is not an addiction,

but a symptom

of the macho masculinity affliction

that sees violence

as an ever acceptable reaction,

or that too much testosterone

is the real problem

whilst breeding the notion

that this is the natural order of things

instead of asking the questions,

why do some men hurt women?

and why is violence such a deeply gendered phenomenon?

and why are these instead not defined

as gender crimes?

Worded as ‘women’s issues’ and ‘violence against women’

whilst men’s part in the process

is the invisible omission,

like there could be another explanation

to gender relations

and we just aren’t keeping up with the times.

So here I stand as a woman

standing with women

who are stood on by men,

and if you think

that you’re a good one of them,

then what are you doing

to be part of the solution?

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

This is the last time

you will curse me

with your words,

break my spirit

till I cannot lift

myself up from the dirt.

This is the last time

you hand me

all your pain,

so heavy I sit on

and take the hit from

the shards of your grenade.

This is the last time

your grip

constricts my voice,

lungs without air

my words rot in there

since you took away my choice.

This was the last time

you tried to convince me

of your lies

that I should feel shame,

so I’ve poured petrol and doused us in flames

because men burn

but witches survive.

Trigger TV

Trigger TV

When even broken bones

burns

bite marks

internal injury

Her story

Her reality

is not considered worthy

neither for a charge

nor being found guilty,

when even without

Her words should be

Enough.

Maybe

if being an amputee

wasn’t internal

then you could see

as clearly

She wasn’t privy

to the memo

from the CPS and jury

about what constitutes believable,

since giving a reliable account

takes a PHD,

and to what degree

She just takes up your precious time

being angry.

Tell me,

is it as much

as he took Her body?

Sunlight (Dedicated to The Sunlight Project)

Sunlight (Dedicated to The Sunlight Project)

You can’t trust the weather

to keep you dry;

it has a thousand different moods

and just like you

it has to rain sometimes,

with Mother Earth’s tears

collapsing the sky

as you try

to hold the world up

and pretend everything is fine.

You survived the thunderstorm

but the lightening struck your heart;

its current blasted

through your body parts

and blew the fuse

that gave your life its spark,

leaving echoes of your former self

to search for meaning

in the grieving

of the stumbling dark.

Through what seems

like endless night

the storm will clear the way for stars;

each one is a person’s wish

that you may know

how not alone you are,

so go outside, and with your hands

pluck the stars and hold them tight

until inside your chest, warmth spreads,

and you will find

there’s sunlight.

https://www.thesunlightproject.net/