Victim / Survivor

You’re five, maybe six, and there’s a bed, and a man with hands that are bigger than your skull. Or maybe that’s not how it happens. Maybe you’re eight, and he leaves no bruises, and you don’t have the words for it, so you don’t say anything — you dress your dolls in the late afternoon light, stale soap operas playing in the background — you keep saying sorry under your breath, and don’t know why. Or you’re thirteen, bringing him a beer, knowing you’re feeding the same monster that bent your arm until it hung like a ripped door from its frame, but no is not a word your body’s been taught to offer. Maybe it’s none of these things. Maybe it’s all of them. But you wake in the night, still, years later, like your eye sockets are craters left by his fist — swollen from the weight of it — wanting to be sick. You drink from the bathroom tap, give some of it back, spitting pink into the sink from where your teeth sliced into skin to stop the slip of it. There is never a sound. Or a scream. Just the light, flickering sometimes, showing you your own face back — echoing a million others — laughing wetly to themselves, survivor — like it means anything at all.

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1 comment
  1. m said:

    Nice strong words!

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