Lights illuminate this courtroom scene
and I am standing in the central artery,
translucent and immaterial to your reckless steps
as they walk straight through me.
But under oath the words will fail
to accept the lies you hope to spin from your lips;
those spoken but then denied
will testify to the tongue that shaped them
and the mind that orchestrated their sounds to escape
on the exhaled breath,
till all the jury hears is the jumbled letters you have left,
stubbornly scrambled like your sense of morality,
the judge orders a straitjacket to curb your corroding mentality.
And I can feel my mouth running back to me.
Trusting my own judgement
enough to learn to like
my outward appearance
is not easy when
you blame yourself
for the poor judgement
of another’s hands
and how they wouldn’t hurt you
and then tore your love
for your body
away from your body
from the outside in
and how it leaves you stuck
in a cycle of self torment
trying to forgive yourself for something
you didn’t do to yourself
but somehow allowed happen
till your own false sense of safety
deludes it’s better
to hate your body
for something another did to it
because look what happened
when you had the audacity
to like it.
The distant glow of landing lights
has always meant safety
for sneaky bedtime reading
and from terrifying bedtime monsters
turning playful dreams into crime scenes
before I had learnt enough words.
A book in my hand
titles ‘Do Not Disturb’:
I am too busy
escaping my reality
with my runaway imagination
to shape a sentence with sonancy,
learning new words
to replace those that brand me
in my attempt to make something fiction.
For every time
my words have been stripped from me
and I have forgotten
the way my tongue and teeth and lips
make a sound,
I will write them back
then I will speak them back
then watch me take them back
and knock. you. down.
Here’s what I don’t want you to know about me:
- I keep my eggs in a few baskets
so no one can break all of me at once.
- I’ll only ever hint at my monsters
to hide the fact they still jump out of my bed at any time.
And if you know about them they’ll haunt you too.
- You cannot unknow what I tell you
so I’ll probably not tell you much.
- I’d never grow cynical of love
but I’m cynical of you lasting
because life has taught me that most people leave.
All these people with an appetite to offer advice
and I’m still starving for someone to listen
I witnessed a man
headbutt a woman
in the middle of a busy city centre
as hundreds of commuters
walked straight past
pretending not to notice.
how women are silenced
whilst she screams
at the top of her lungs.