Saying is Believing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 10, 2018

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Submitted: September 10, 2018

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I am told

I am too

much, too loud, too

open, sad, strong, stoic.

I am too

difficult, unmanageable,

untouchable,

too broken, too anxious, too

frightened, too brave.

I am told I am

not enough—not pretty

enough, not small or

dainty, a woman too

big, too spacious, too

much woman, spilling

my flesh out into the ground, my bleeding

too heavy, breasts too low, round,

proud and clinging, buoying

me up, braless and boundless.

I am too much for these walls.

 

So I break the walls.

 

I am too much for these

beams to hold me, too

strong to break when

they chafe and cut, too

weak not to cry, too

big not to speak out

loudly at the boundaries,

shout that they are too

small, too wooden, too

close together, and I am

not even the biggest one.

 

I will chafe them until they break.

Push with all the might

of someone, hear them creak and

moan, and even knowing

they won’t crack in my

lifetime, know the pressure is

too crucial

to let go.

 

I am told I am too

rough, too knowing;

I do not know people.

His hands on my

body broke my easy childhood flow.

His sharp

words on my sapling mind

cut the boughs that

bleed sap, sticky and sweet,

smelling on everyone I know.

His blame on my shoulders

aches more than the timbers

which held me still

while he played his rough

music on my belly, my chest,

my heart.

 

I am told

I am too fragile,

too sensitive to the

brush of innocent words

on my skin, paper skin

torn and taped too many times.

Sometimes the paper rips

and the rock beneath,

cold outside, shows through.

I am told I am rock hard.

 

I do not say—the rock

is molten underneath.

That I am soft, and

warm and safe. I do not

say—out loud—cannot say.

His hands took my saying,

took the words from

my throat, and I will

spend my sapling years

bringing them back.

Saying is believing, and he—

he took my saying.

 

I tell myself. I tell

myself to lean into the

pain, feel the ocean in

my belly, under, where he

cannot touch. I feel

the heartbeat of the

earth there, breathing

in and out with the seasons.

I tell myself—that is

where I am—here,

below, outside, underneath.

All around is me—the life

I can grow and guard.

That is me. I tell

myself, sobbing—the more they push

the stronger they make me;

and then I know.

 

I know the bleeding

I have done makes me able

to feel it when others

are bleeding. I know

the taste of hatred, so I see

it comes from anger and fear.

I know my body’s

refusal to die

when it is contained, crushed—

it keeps on

breathing

with

the seasons. I know

the bubbling, burning scar of someone

saying,

I know too.

 

When we bleed together,

we are more: a forest

of sticky saplings, who

will not let him walk

by without sticking him

with what he has done to us.

The place where children come

to find the sticky sweet

smell of caring too hard.

I say: that

is who

I am.


© Copyright 2018 Nicky Kent. All rights reserved.

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