I say, “I’m having a hard time with my PTSD,”
The words thick in my mouth like I am choking
Or somehow allergic to this admission,
Body, killing itself in an effort to expel the allergen.
I am stuck at a crime scene,
Whole body present for the ****** of me.
I am watching them examine my clothing,
Searching for motive and signs of a struggle,
Nobody staunching the bleeding.
I am a cadaver to them,
Mangled wreckage of what once was and could never be again.
I see the yellow ‘police line’ being rolled out over and over in my mind,
Wondering why the only one watching him break me
Was my teddy bear who’d been cast onto the floor
And the mattress on which I was the sin he committed.
Sometimes I wonder if the blood stained as it ran from me.
Did he think about the ****** when he washed the sheets,
Or was this just another day for him,
He who is lucky enough to inhabit a whole body?
What was it for him about the act of making ghosts,
Leaving me half dead every time,
How he choked the air from my body,
Just enough to separate my soul from my physical form
But never finished the job?
Now, I haunt this in-between space
A purgatory of murdered and broken pieces,
Parts too dissimilar to be reconstructed.
I wonder how they all used to fit into a whole
When their jagged edges now mar my skin,
Spilling blood that no longer runs red in my veins.
It’s blue like the sheets on his bed,
Steel gray for the threat of the sword he wedged under the mattress,
And purple like bite mark bruises up my thighs,
How he opened his mouth and somehow closed mine,
Stole the syllables off my freshly kissed lips,
The taste of morning breath and acid fear welded to my tongue.
I am left to carry my own dead body with hands that don’t feel fully mine.
They’ve left bruises of their own but none on his skin.
There’s no signs of an external struggle,
No blood stored under my fingernails,
Yet I wear the internal wounds like armor.
Closed doors don’t erase the existence of violence.
What happens in silence still leaves an echo,
Even if it’s only the drip of tears on the pillowcase.
I used to be lucky enough to inhabit a whole body,
But he struck me dead at the root of my innocence,
And now I am here telling you a ghost story.
When I say, “I am struggling with my PTSD,”
I mean I am a stuck at the crime scene of me,
But the police are not coming because I didn’t know to ask for them.
How do you tell someone that love left the bruises and you let him
Because your world was too cold to differentiate between being kept warm
And having someone light you on fire?
How do you report a ****** from beyond your own grave?
The “Police Line: Do Not Cross”
Tells me where not to touch,
What to leave alone less the remembering begin again.
It tells me not to let others too close to the scene of the crime,
Not to let them see the evidence locked in my mind.
I am so tired of carrying around my own dead body,
Trying to feel safe in the same place
I once wished he’d just killed me.
How do you escape the crime scene
When the scene of the crime is your own body?