I don't know if I'll ever be able to say the word
For what you did, or even spell it out in any language.
Then again, perhaps I've been shouting it through so many
Forms of communication that I let it out every time I breathe.
Maybe it's the way I flinch under my lover's touch;
The way I never let my own body come to her, how it freezes, waits for her first.
How I see your face in every remotely-threatening figure,
And I see their faces, your minions, in the smaller figures that surround you.
Sometimes it's hard to see myself as a survivor,
When sometimes, the only reminders that I'm alive are nightmares.
How their movements shake me awake,
And I can still remember how you taste.
There are times when it tastes like ash, because I burn the memories
With the fuel of self-destruction and I sweat myself to sleep.
Maybe it's that, half the time, I see masculinity only as a devil,
And the other half, it's a quality so far removed from my being
That I'm not really sure if I can call myself a man
Without being at least half a liar.