When I had you, I hoped you would leave.
Not out loud, nor in thought, but in flesh
The way my skin lifted and shrivelled in the murk
My breath hopping, missing, falling back into my lungs
And my eyes shot in the dirty water
I never knew it was your hand holding me under.
You were there the day I caught my brother
Entranced by some stranger’s ass on a screen
And I hid for fear of him
But I looked on to understand
And for want of more, maybe
Just maybe, deep down
And you were there when more found me
When I wanted those slopes and curves
Not ON my body as you would have liked
But AGAINST it
You told me I should stop
You made me want it more
And I sobbed into my mother’s bed
Doing the only thing a good girl could do
And hating myself for being born a human
A few feet taller and wider in the right places,
I squinted to find my worth,
Until you pointed my gaze between my thighs,
And told me my body is a gift,
But the tag is not addressed to me.
From Father, to father, to priesthood
All my worth tied to the laying on of hands
Whether it’s my head or my cunt
And, damn it, I believed you.
So when he kissed me,
When I let him see my shoulders,
And his fingers brushed my belly,
I hated myself not for the last time.
And repented on Sundays
Tipping back sacramental water
While you had the audacity to tell me
My body is a temple.
And when I saw them beaming and laughing,
Throwing sunlight through my skin,
Offering up everything I could never say I wanted,
You were there.
You fucking villain, you were there.
When my breath caught at the sight of their neck,
And their fingertips traced beneath my jaw
As they brought me down from a panic
That you threw me into,
You were there.
When my eyes spilled and my mind twisted,
Reworking reality so that maybe,
Maybe this could work,
You told me,
You handed me a knife to plunge into my gut,
So you could reach in and burn the butterflies,
But I severed your hands at the wrists.
Now that I don’t have you, I almost wish you were here,
Just so I could spit in your face.
But I still have your hands,
Though I call them toys.
I break their fingers when I remember you.