I say I don’t, but I remember that night.
There were eleven lights in the ceiling and five trains went past the window. You told me to
be silent. Not one word or your violence would speak a thousand. It turns out you wrote a
novel all over my skin was a map of the places you had been uninvited. Watercolour bruises I
could not dilute with bleach. I cried to the police reliving that moment once again. The
examination was filled with swabs and humiliation as a male doctor went near my wounds. I
feared men for a long time after, I would even flinch at my brother’s touch. I’d often see red
and lash out, like a bull I would charge at whoever told me “I would be okay.” I can’t even
look in the mirror without seeing shame! I scrub my skin until it bleeds and please don’t
patronise me with so-called kindness! I’m damaged, disgusting, drowning in pain, I can’t
bear to wake up and feel this again, I –
realised I still have breath in my lungs. When I shut my eyes, I feel at peace. I’ve learnt that
quiet thoughts speak volumes. That love doesn’t shout, it whispers. That hands are to hold
and not to make fists with. That for a moment I was hollow, a woman who would wallow in
self-pity until I remembered who I am – A lioness with courage. So, to ‘he who must not be
named’ watch me as I push out my chest and fear the roar that comes from its depths.
Faye Alexandra Rose is a UK based writer studying English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Worcester. Her work has been published in several online magazines such as; Mookychick, The Drabble and the online project Poetry & Covid. She is also a Poetry Editor for small leaf press – a magazine dedicated to giving a voice to undiscovered writers. She can be found on Twitter: @FayeAlexandraR1, or via her website: fayealexandrarose.wordpress.com.
Featured image from Unsplash.com from Neonbrand