Once upon a time the world seemed safe
men I trusted didn’t trick me
didn’t hold me down
didn’t take by force
what society told me was special
If those men can do that
what can men I don’t trust do?
Once upon a time I didn’t punish myself
trying to take some control back
telling myself I invited this
by growing older, being almost a teen
flogging myself with what ifs
should having until the scars of blame
lacerated me as much as the original attack
Once upon a time I didn’t know terror
I wasn’t painfully aware
in the pit of my belly
in the ache in my chest
in the air entombed in my throat
that I could be so damaged
and live through it
Once upon a time I didn’t know
living through the actual act
was the easy part
My father sexually abused me.
When I got married,
I hyphenated my name.
No one questioned it at the time.
But in the middle of my parents’ late divorce,
everyone wants to know about names.
i was depressed,
and i wanted
to take a
you said you'd join me—
didn't mean i wanted
netflix and chill,
it happened before words came
to tell me how to feel about it
newly connected neurons torn apart
forever firing blanks into the microbiological air