The sigh of relief, as audible
to me as nails across chalkboard,
never escaped her chest. The weight of him
oppressed her in ways no one else could see.
Her coffeed eyes blinked stories through me,
heavy, untold riddles,
while her beauty lay
in the hollow of shadows…
How she looked
through cries of
he seems nice to her, it was too easy for
them to judge when freshly starched.
To smile and nod, pretend to
when no one cares to
sort the truth of a mortared pain that
stacks behind lines of a half-smile because
be a burden or a drag, she’ll just
another while he prays
to a God she does not know,
nor care to. She prays
to the ether in hopes of
finding someone who does.
The hypocrisy that hinders growth pretends
to call itself faith, and festers in a man who
carried the title of husband,
now his main moniker
with his grace
not to worshiper, much more
sinister than that in repugnancy, and revulsion —
Who will argue to keep
his own blacks and whites,
tucked in tight, beneath a self-righteous
golden chest-plate that grips his prayers while
hold him close.
Any more than speaking in tongues
to new brothers that cherish him, just as long
as he stays within those wavy lines,
keeps his head above
their holier than thou water.
She chose, yes chose to walk away after days,
and weeks, and years of not being ideal, of
being burnt daily at his stake.
Told she was
that her clothes,
her hair, the way she spoke was not pleasing
enough to this God among men. She endured
nights of doubt, of fear, of uncertainty that
she would do the right thing to keep her family
safe and whole…
meanwhile tossing her own self over the edge
in infinite ways that never meant death.
She gave…until her tears dried to blood, and
still she would slit herself open one more time
to save someone else
in need of bread.
Now spent and confused,
taken with merciless
things that only age can do, she has nailed herself
to a wall there is no escape from. Her mighty
to shut him out
have only shut her in.
As she swore she wouldn’t, and spat with her
last fighting breath, she dwindled; her spunk
flew off with her spark into the night,
to be replenished
the way she was
elaborate, in her egret days.
Bitterness had grown-up strong, and healthy,
simmer grown to a boil, never could
give her what she wanted
even though she held onto that succulent, hot
with all her claws intact.
I admired her for that, but in the end,
in the end…I’m afraid for her.
I am afraid that in the stubbornness
she grips with each full breath, that
in the atrocities done
to her, to others that she can not,
she will not suffer
or stand by silently
to curse another sunrise.
I am afraid I will admit…
Dedicated to all who have suffered, and been brave enough to survive domestic violence in any form. Long may you fight, and be free to be yourself.