I’d like to have a bruise.
A broken nose, some missing teeth.
Something to show.
Something people can see.
I’d like a big scar – right across my face
One that makes people gasp and look away.
I want something that shows the pain,
Something that shows what it feels like
Something that makes people glad they’re not me.
Makes them know they’re the lucky ones, the fortunate ones.
“Take it like a man,” their voices linger in my head.
I want to drown these voices.
I want to rid myself of my mind,
To forget how to feel, how to think.
How to breathe.
I want to forget their hands all over me.
To forget the knife to my neck,
Or the heavy slaps across my face.
I want to forget the sound of their laughter,
Or the heaving of their breath.
I want to feel numb; to die
So this guilt, this shame, this stigma that has stung my life
Would be washed away in a river of oblivion
With everything else I can’t will myself to forget.
These three men plunging and taking turns on my welting skin.
These three men, rippers of solemn innocence, of virtue, of purity.
These three men cold-blooded and callous like the night.
These three men, etchers of doom.
I do not want to feel their rage, their sneer
I do not want them to put me down, silence me, make me beg.
I do not want my skin to crawl and my heart to pound
As I struggle to swallow the bile rising in my throat.
I want to feel the coldness take hold of my heart again
To dig the grounds around me and crawl in to feel safe
I want to go away; to be forgotten
I want to disappear like dust patches in the rain
To erase my memories and replace them with ones of things that are good.
I want the world to see these monsters.
I want them to know that these men have two sides.
They laugh and they joke and then they turn.
I want the world to see their truth.
But what if I give in?
What if I cut the veins through my wrist and drown in my own pool of blood?
What if that is my only chance at serenity?
Would I feel calm and tranquil, because that’s what I crave?
Or should I will myself to be more patient?
Stronger, more vivacious?
Should I will myself to survive?
HIV and all?
I am so confused. I need a scar.
One I can see. One that reminds me of the tears,
One that reminds me of the fact that this is how I will always feel
One that reminds me that every night I cry into my pillow, and pray for hands of death.
I need a scar, one that says ‘Nothing’
So I remember that is what I will always be
A reminder of what never was
Because that was what I was to them. Nothing.
I want to scream to the world my pain and shame
And watch them crucify me with their versions of truth
I want my words to break these walls of fear
To speak up and fight for my justice. Justice for all.
But vocal sounds elude me.
I am left with signs, tears, and sheets.
These sheets are my solace, my cry for justice
They are my voice.
I don’t want to be told that I’m fine, because I’m not
Or that you understand, because you don’t.
You don’t understand the cries of these eyes
Nor the shatters of this heart.
You do not understand these walls snuggling up to swallow me.
No, you don’t understand. You can’t understand.
Nobody can understand these feelings.
Noboby but me.