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Photo Credit: This poem was inspired by German artist Conny Stark)

 

A chill

A tremor

A glance toward the floor

A slicing through the air

With words

Sharp and

Heavy—

Atmosphere gluttonous

And fat

With globules of

All the hate he had eaten

Before

Now digested and

Fueling the

Fight.

 

He vomits lies

One and then

One more

Oh—

And then one more—

And wipes it off the floor

To fashion

With his hands

The garments

He flings

Toward her,

“Put this on,”

As though she were

His mannequin.

 

She bends her knee

To his lies

And slathers

What dripped

From his mouth

Onto her face—

Masking what is true

And wearing

What he has construed,

She misconstrues

What is false

For what must be

And in his eyes

She sees

His power

Grow.

 

Shrinking hues of

Human blue

Shrivel into black—

He lowers his head

Like a dog

Unleashed and standing

Before

His prey

“Away,”

She thinks but

Does not say

Instead

She braces,

Her heart races

As she maps his face

For traces

Of who she assumed

Him to be.

 

The sound of a

Rapier and dagger

A shot fired

The kicking away of the stand

Under a noose

Two Broadswords clash

In the night

A fight

With no enemy

But brutal in its

Casualty

To the sanctity of

Two lives becoming one

Death.

 

She opens her mouth

To let the fear

Fall out—

It repels down her

Cheeks

Jumps off her chin and

Runs into the

Shadows

Where it found safety

Once

Before—

She watches it run

And dreams of being

Small

So she too could

Skitter away

Like a fearful mouse

Hiding in this home,

Or

Instead

This house.

 

Purple begins to sprawl

Across her face and

Down her arm—

Once more her

Skin

His canvas

Drying in colors

Darker than

He intended

And that—

What he intended—

Is unclear as the fog

Of war

Flies around his head

Like a flock of

Birds flapping in formation

And leaving the cold

For the

Sun.

 

He lowers his hand

A gesture

A gift

An invitation

From his guilt to

Her confusion—

She accepts as she

Has accepted

Before

And stands.

 

 

A chill

A tremor

A look to the floor—

 

“It began with a lie,”

She thinks

But does not say and

She wonders why

The dusty lenses in his frames

Project her in this way—

And why so many times

Before

She wore the vomit-sewn

Coat shaking at her feet

Like a prisoner of

War.

 

“No more,”

she thinks and then

she says—

A sentence that

Shoots

Like an arrow through

His armor of

Pride—

“You want to roar

You want me to squeak,

You want to be called Control

You want my name to be Weak.”

Then one more string of words,

“No more.”

 

A tremor

A doubt

A glimmer of

Courage

Reflected off the moon to

Light her way

To blind his eyes

From seeing her

Walk away—

Into the night

She limped

Like a rabbit

Whose foot had been

Cut off and given

To him for luck

But

She walked

And the walking

Was building her strength.

 

She was tempted to

Look back

To see her

Before

But instead her

Momentum

Drove forward—

She thought to herself

But did not say,

“No more before,

Only today.”

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

 

 

 

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