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Meena Menon Apr 28
The brightest star can shine even with thick black velvet draped over it.  
Quartz, lime and salt crystals formed a glass ball.
The dark womb held me, warm and soft.  
My mom called my cries when I was born the most sorrowful sound she had ever heard.  She said she’d never heard a baby make a sound like that.    
I’d open my eyes in low light until the world’s light healed rather than hurt.  

The summer before eighth grade, July 1992, I watched a shooting star burn by at 100,000 miles per hour as I stood on the balcony  while my family celebrated my birthday inside.  
It made it into the earth’s atmosphere
but it didn’t look like it was coming down;
I know it didn’t hit the ground
but it burned something in the time it was here.  
The glass ball of my life cracked inside.  
Light reflected off the salt crystal cracks.  
I saw the beauty of the light within.  
Nacre from my shell kept those cracks from getting worse,
a wild pearl as defense mechanism.  
In 2001, I quit my job after they melted and poured tar all over my life.  
All summer literature class bathtubs filled with rose hip oil cleaned the tar.  
That fall logic and epistemology classes spewed black ink all over my philosophy written over ten years then.  
Tar turned to asphalt when I met someone from my old job for a drink in November
and it paved a road for my life that went to the hospital I was in that December
where it sealed the roof on my life
when I was almost murdered there
and in February after meeting her for another drink.  
They lit a fire at the top of the glacier and pushed the burning pile of black coal off the edge,
burnt red, looking like flames falling into the valley.  
While that blazed the side of the cliff something lit an incandescent light.  
The electricity from the metal lightbulb ***** went through wires and heated the filament between until it glowed.  
I began putting more work into emotional balance from things I learned at AA meetings.  In Spring 2003, the damage that the doctors at the hospital in 2001 had done made it harder for light to reflect from the cracks in the glass ball.  
I’d been eating healthy and trying to get regular exercise since 1994
but in Spring 2003 I began swimming for an hour every morning .  
The water washed the pollution from the burning coals off and then I escaped in July.  
I moved to London to study English Language and Linguistics.  
I would’ve studied English Language and Literature.  
I did well until Spring 2004 when I thought I was being stalked.  
I thought I was manic.  
I thought I was being stalked.  
I went home and didn’t go back for my exams after spring holiday.  
Because I felt traumatized and couldn’t write poetry anymore,
I used black ink to write my notes for my book on trauma and the Russian Revolution.  I started teaching myself German.  
I stayed healthy.  
In 2005, my parents went to visit my mom’s family in Malaysia for two weeks.  
I thought I was being stalked.  
I knew I wasn’t manic.  
I thought I was being stalked.  
I told my parents when they came home.  They thought I was manic.  
I showed them the shoe prints in the snow of different sizes from the woods to the windows.  
They thought I was manic.  
I was outside of my comfort zone.  
I moved to California.
I found light.  
I made light,
the light reflected off the salt crystals I used to heal the violence inflicted on me from then on.  
The light turned the traffic lights to not just green from red but amber and blue.  
The light turned the car signals left and right.  The light reflected off of salt crystals,
light emitting diodes,
electrical energy turned directly to light, electroluminescence.  
The electrical currents flowed through, illuminating.  
Alone in the world,
I moved to California in July 2005
but in August  I called the person I escaped in 2003,
the sulfur and nitrogen that I hated.  
He didn’t think I was manic
but I never said anything.  
I never told him why I asked him to move out to California.  
When his coal seemed like only pollution,
I asked him to leave.  
He threatened me.  
I called the authorities.  
They left me there.
He laughed.  
Then the violence came.  
****:  stabbed and punched,
my ****** bruised, purple and swollen.  
The light barely reflected from the glass ball with cracks— through all the acid rain, smoke and haze.
It would take me half an hour to get my body to do what my mind told it to after.  
My dad told me my mom had her cancer removed.
The next day, the coal said if I wanted him to leave he’d leave.  
I booked his ticket.
I drove him to the airport.  
Black clouds gushed the night before for the first time in months,
the sky clear after the rain.  
He was gone and I was free,
melted glass, heated up and poured—
looked like fire,
looked like the Snow Moon in February with Mercury in the morning sky.  
I worked through ****.  
I worked to overcome trauma.  
Electricity between touch and love caused acid rain, smoke, haze, and mercury to light the discharge lamps,
streetlights and parking lot lights.
Then I changed the direction of the light waves.  
Like lead glass breaks up the light, lead from the coal, cleaned and replaced by potassium, glass cut clearly,
refracting the light,
electrical signals lit through my body,
thick black velvet drapes gone.
Meena Menon Apr 26
Haze scatters blue light on a planet.  
Frought women, livid, made into peonies by Aphrodites that caught their men flirting and blamed the women, flushed red.
Frought women, livid, chrysanthemums, dimmed until the end of the season, exchanged and retained like property.  
Blue women enter along the sides of her red Torii gates,
belayed, branded and belled,
a plangent sound.  
By candles, colored lights and dried flowers,
she’s sitting inside on a concrete floor,
punctures and ruin burnished with paper,
boiling burnt lime from lime mortar.  
Glass ***** on the ceiling,
she moves the beads of a Palestinian glass bead bracelet she holds in her hands.  
She bends light to make shadows against thin wooden slats curved along the wall
and straight across the ceiling.
A metier, she invents tinctures,
juniper berries and cotton *****.
Loamy soil in the center of the room,
a hawthorn tree stands alone,
a gateway for fairies,
large stones at the base protecting,
its branches a barrier.  
Its leaves and shoots make bread and cheese.
Its berries, red skin and yellow flesh, make jam.
Green bamboo stakes for the peonies when they whither from the weight of their petals
and lime in the soil,
she adds wood chips to the burnt lime in the kiln,
unrolled paper, spools, and wire hanging.
Wood prayer beads connect her to the earth;
the tassels on the end of the beads connect her to spirit, to higher truth.
Minerals, marine mud and warm basins of seawater on a flower covered desk,
she adds slaked lime to the burnt lime and wood chips.  
The lime converts to paper,
trauma victims speak,
light through butterfly wings.  
She’s plumeria with curved petals, thick, holding water.
I’m so grateful that women have websites to write about how they’ve suffered and there are people trying to help women heal that read their stories.
Sarah Delaney Jan 2020
I may never forget that night that you took what was not yours
But I must thank you in some odd way,
For you showed me who was there for me and who was not when I was at my lowest.
And I have found that cutting toxicity out of my life was necessary.
For if they cannot be there for me when I am  broken, they cannot be there at my peak.
Sarah Chapa Dec 2019
A knife to the chest I could barely breathe,
You hit me when I was at my weakest,
You knocked me down when I was already on my knees,
I begged you to stop, I even said please,

You slammed my head into the wall,
You didn’t stop til I started to crawl,
Is this what makes you feel like a man?
Leaving a woman unable to stand?

You grabbed me by the shoulders and wouldn’t stop shaking me,
Another argument gone awry,
I gave you a taste of your own medicine,
Then you saw what it’s like to be hit,

I punched you in the face as hard as I could,
You saw stars and nearly blacked out,
I heard my own voice screaming,
“This is what you did to me,”

Pushing and pushing until I snapped,
You ***** me, you hit me, you verbally abused me,
It was about time I fought back,
Like a lion I started to attack,

Then one day I looked in the mirror,
Realizing I too had become an abuser,
You were my poison and much more,
I knew I had to push you out the door.

In the blink of an eye you were gone,
In another relationship immediately,
I knew exactly what you were up to,
When she reached out to me because you ***** her too,

I’ll never have justice for what you did,
What you put me through,
I’ll never know what it’s like to see you behind bars,
Even after all the beatings and scars,

It’s going to be so hard to say this,
But I forgive you for what you did,
I forgive myself for what I’ve done,
I’ve finally learned to put down the gun.
Parker Feb 2019
I kept punishing myself for not being whole after four years
But I didn’t realize that if I never spoke about it
I was never going to get any where in my recovery
So I finally began the process to victory
It is one of the hardest things I have ever put myself through
I am grateful for each tear I am shedding
Because I know they get me one step closer to being new
For every panic attack and punishment I have done to myself
I apologize for not beginning my path to recovery sooner
I am a work in progress and I am getting better
Janie Elizabeth Oct 2017
i was a little girl
you where a grown man
i had no say
you acted upon your own sin
you took my flower
i was too young to know
at the time you had the power
to that i say no more
you are a filthy demon of the night
i am a ****** by heart and its my own right
you rot in your own filth
forever a beast you will be
i have many choices of who i want to be
a writer, a painter, psychologist, or musician
i have a life that is worth living
you may have taken my flower but my words still remain
you thought you had the power
but you're only insane
This poem is about ****. you should be aware of who you trust because i was a victim so many times to family members, but now i am a survivor
Cuddle up and get some rest
Ignore the pain inside your chest
Though doubt plagues your aching heart
Promise him you’ll never part

Let him feed you broken lies
Empty promises and severed ties
Make him happy is what you’ll do
He says he’s afraid of losing you

He’s like a dog fresh off the ****
He’s happy that he broke your will
Through widened eyes and pouted lips
He distracts as he travels past your hips

Pretend he sends your form aquiver
All while your soul will start to shiver
And as he sleeps there in your bed
Pretend that running doesn’t run through your head

Though you escaped and made it through
You can’t get back what he took from you
And though you’ve left him far behind
He’s never really off your mind
Little Wolf Oct 2015
No longer am I scared all the time,
My heart has stopped racing when I'm the only girl,
My hands don't begin to shake,
When some one looks like you,
You no longer have my mind,

I can finally love the good man without being tormented by the bad,
When he makes love to me
Your long, dark shadow is finally gone
And I am free.

It took so long to clean you out of my brain.
To clean out all the fear, the hurt, the pain
But I did it, slowly, Year by year.
I shined a light on my fear.

It's been almost 10 years Now,
And Every So often,
My nightmares ,
They hold you still.

And I may never find all the crevices you hide in,
All the love that you replaced,
I'll never be the same,
But you no longer have my mind,
And you no longer have my brain.
Ellie Jun 2015
You took a beautiful apple and spoiled it with your hard touch.

Pealed away her soft skin
Leaving it to rot.
Chewed away at her sweet flesh
Leaving nothing but the core,
After every bite you swallowed.
Swallowed her identity,
Her beauty,
Her dignity.
Leaving tiny seeds
Tucked within her rotting core.
Waiting to be watered,

He took those hopeless seeds and grew an apple with his soft touch.

— The End —