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You & I
You & I

© Neerja Sinha


2 Minutes   6.9K    3

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When you first hit me, I should've left you

In that casket of a home you built

 For me, for only me.

How I would've whistled

And tapped my feet to see you drown

In the dark—fear coiling around your ankles,

Numbing your knees,

Fastening your fist,

Girdling your groin; you couldn't kick,

Push, jolt or jeer.

Just you and your fear 

All alone, with no one to interfere;

 And the two of you snuggling, making love.

You'd know what it is to be me, to be

A story never read.

But I didn't leave you to believe you

And gave you another chance

 That you crushed like the cake

I had once improvised.

I wound up in that litter box again,

The space we share every night,

Where I am wrong and you are right.

I did it for the picture of you and me,

For the flopping syllables

I uttered from earnest affection

While you coughed them out

 Like they were ulcers pinching your tongue.

It's okay, I thought, we are lovers, black

 And white pillows laundered in the same basket.

We can wring out colors and carve

 Our own rainbows.

I turned the mirrors around

So I can't see the scars crisscrossing my face.

I let you lock your wrist against my neck

And chanted your name even as you choked me.

Remember our honeymoons in the coffin, 

Our dates in the attic,

And the salt of romance that sizzled on my wounds.

And then one day you left the blinds

 Open and I sniffed a world that had ceased to

 Exist when we fell in love.

(No, I did, you bluffed).

 A young woman beckoned

To me; free, free, free, she whispered.

The fricatives wafting towards me

Like a ball of feathers.

Her words so charming and alive,

Puffing with meaning

 And melody; bobbing and

 Beading around me; pouring

 Their warmth into me, like clusters of dew
 curling around a droplet freshly born.

 She strummed my soul and set me free

 And I knew she was my love for me.


abuse victim freedom self-love

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