[poem] war paint

Instead of crying, I did my makeup in the middle of the night. Here are my thoughts.

When your words land
like fists,
instead of fighting back,

I will paint my eyelids the hues
of a fresh bruise.

I will choose shades that look
like black eyes
and old wounds. Like
how warriors smear their faces
with the blood of enemies slain,

I will take my pain
and beat my face bold with it;

with every brush stroke, declare
I am done with hiding.

I am done with apologizing.
I am done shrinking myself
to the size of your expectations;

wearing your accusations,
allowing them to tint and taint me.

If you do not like my colors,
I will not tell you I am sorry.

I am not sorry.

I am not sorry.

I will never let you make me sorry again.


[Poem] Epoché (Silence Hurts No More)

Slowly the silence ceases to sting. Instead
it is solace, soft and sympathetic, sensitive
to the tender throes of one girl’s battle, balancing act
between measured grace and madness; a sane insanity.
I let the silence wash over me, the distance
feels like the epoché you spoke about but never understood.
(The river did not pass judgement; it suspended it.)
Your greatest weapon has become my coldest comfort.
I have learned, finally.
I nestle the wounds of many years inside of me
and kiss the blade.
“This time,” I whisper, “this time–”
“I am not desperate to end the pain.”