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Jul 2010
All I can remember...
Was trying not to cry
My face was hot, and my eyes felt like grapes
about to burst from my head.
Hands gripped my throat, and still,
my body, unconvinced,
was shaking for air.

I don't remember scratching as much as I remember
Trying to move my legs.
All I know is that suddenly the wall was slamming into my back,
and my eyes could only focus on
the thin red lines on his bare arms.
I was pinned to the wall by my throat,
like a butterfly...
trying to fly away...
trying to get away...
Look, how pretty.
I thought if only God would show up,
I would never catch a butterfly again,

I remember thinking,
"Please. Please. Please. Please."
More like a mantra than a prayer.
As if I was willing him to be finished with me,
my shell;
willing him to be pleased enough to just let me sleep.
Or die.
Or live.
But I couldn't really think of anything
without the oxygen pumping my ideas through me.

I didn't even realize when I stopped struggling,
I was just suddenly still and he said,
"Can't have you passing out."
And he let go.
And God let go.
And I let go.
And I started to cry
as he threw me over his shoulder.

I could see so many beautiful spots in my eyes.
There was Red. There was Blue.
Some of them were dancing.
Fading in and out.
It was like they were twinkling.
My own beautiful endless night sky.
Van Gogh, where are you?

Then I suddenly became aware of myself;
My shorts gone, my skin bare to the coldness.
I was lying with my hands pinned between my back and the floor.
I started taking stock of myself
And tasted blood on my lips.
I suddenly thought of pennies;
lots of pennies floating in front of my eyes.
No wonder they were twinkling.

I heard more than felt
him laboring above me.
He was silent and wouldn't look at my face.
And I was aware of my eyes burning
as salt water seeped out on
a quest for the ocean.
I was going with them.
My tears.
I would be a sea captain.
Far from this.
Call me Ishmael.

But it was the most quiet I've ever cried
as if I didn't want the weeping to disturb him.

"God, please. please. please."

And I was taken back to another form
hovering above my young body,
whispering things into my ear about playing house,
and staying quiet;
"Shhh. Mommies have to be quiet."
I wanted to go back to playing with my dollhouse.
Please, let me go play with my dollhouse.

I am breathing on my own again.
I am back in the room, staring up in horror,
at a boy I thought I knew.
I was trained for this,
I was taught to be silent
from childhood.
I was shown how to react to this
so long ago;
in silence.

But I was not born for this.
I couldn't have been born for this.
I was born to give life, I was born to create,
I was born to bring hope.
I am a divine creation,
Aren't I?
I feel like I'm floating.

He is finished with me.
He lets me go.
But for some reason I don't know how to sit up anymore.
He walks out to have a cigarette.
My throat is sore,
My eyes are burning,
and I feel bruised under my skin,
all the way to the middle.
To a soft part in the center
that I suddenly see
as a tender nimbus,
floating over my chest.
Forcing me to rise
and walk again.
Up, up, and away.
© Ashley Quarterman 2010

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Ashley Lynn LeBlanc
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Ashley Lynn LeBlanc
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