~Esther Mitchell, 2014~
Three little letters.
They reach through the web of wires,
The pulsing electrical current,
Pushed on by the strike of a key.
Do you know how each blow pummels me to the ground?
How the letters are meant as erasers,
To eradicate a past you can’t bear to witness,
Remove all traces of it from your sight,
White-wash your vision with roses and light.
Light hits my face as I break the surface,
The water scented with chemicals,
Burned into my brain, until the smell gags me,
Before the light is ripped away,
Turned blue like the glow of a mocking spectre,
Swallowing up color in darting wriggles of light,
Until the dank smell of old water mixes with blood.
Ever notice how blood smells so rich?
Like a mineral parade making a winding road of my body,
Learning the creases of my skin like a lover,
Leaving behind a part of myself I can never retrieve.
Retrieving my messages online, I see those three little letters,
Blinking at me, in response to my pain.
They’re supposed to tell me someone’s listening.
They’re supposed to tell me someone cares.
But how can someone listen when the words screaming in my silence,
Are “don’t touch me” and “help me” all rolled together?
How can anyone care when I can’t help but shrink away,
From those three words that blink on my screen.
~ Esther Mitchell, 2015~
Silent, she sits,
Her body is a drum held quivering,
A beat hangs ready to pound from her mouth,
A booming clap, like thunder off the canyon.
Her words are a weapon,
Forged to draw her own blood,
Not lines on a map or stains on a battlefield,
She offers up her own blood,
Her own flesh,
Says “Hear me, for I am the body you’ve forsaken.”
Every life into this world is bathed in her blood,
Every life out, in her tears,
Oceans filled with her weeping,
Until the world is pulled under,
Gasping against her unwitting vengeance.
Her heart pulses with fire,
Shoots sparklers into the night sky,
Bathes the heavens in white-hot lightning,
Dances the night sky with streamers of light,
Until her frenzied celebration slips into the dawn,
Peels back the curtain to embrace bright heat,
Unwilling to be thwarted by its burn.
This is the birthright trapped within every woman,
Which frightens men to violence,
Trying to tame that which refuses to be anything but wild.
~Esther Mitchell, 2015~
I learned very young,
To hide pain behind a smile,
And that disappointment didn’t exist,
Unless it was someone else’s, in me.
While other children knew carefree,
I learned to act like I belonged,
I perfected the comedy of “play,”
To cover over a tragedy in which I was the corpse.
My flesh houses an empty hollow,
That echoes even today with my silent screams.
By the time my peers learned to read,
I was pouring out what was left of my soul on tear-stained pages.
I had already learned sticks and stones merely left bruises,
But words had the power to kill,
It only took one to take away the rest of my life,
Washed it away in a sea of chlorine meant to white-wash the truth,
Into something more palatable for adults to swallow.
See, they don’t want to hear that you’re damaged,
Or that you’re pulled apart from the inside,
A twisted, rotting corpse of yourself.
A child is supposed to be happy,
And if you’re not, they don’t want to know.
They’ll stick their heads so far into the sand they come up in an ocean,
Where they can’t possibly see the evidence of your tears.
I was a prisoner in solitary confinement,
Attempting my own execution, just to escape the monsters in my head,
Hoping to outrun demons that mocked me with my own worthlessness.
When I was still a child, I learned not to wish,
There was no genie in my bottle,
Just a handful of white oblivion, ready to swallow me up if I let it.
It became easy to think of letting it.
It became easy to let it.
And then an angel taught me how to fly.
Taught me clouds were meant to be walked on.
Taught me corpses could be brought back to life, could be beautiful again.
Taught me what it was like to fall.
Taught me what it’s like when the ground swallows you whole,
Takes away angels and sweeps away clouds,
Until there’s nothing left but that hollow, empty grave.
And the blood runs red,
Streams that become rivers,
Until it carries away the pain,
And I wish again – to remove the heart that won’t stop beating.
Because I learned as a child,
Fairy tales are only there to trick you into ignoring the darkness.
Image by graur codrin
~Esther Mitchell, 2015~
I am all who will avenge my death,
Written in bright sparklers in cosmic depths,
A memory more fleeting than a cloud,
But you will hear me.
You will hear me in the roar of fire,
As it sweeps away all you held more beloved than me,
You will see me in the flash of lightning,
Breaking your sky with terrible, beautiful warning,
You will feel me in the lash of the wind,
As it flays your flesh and bone with the same ice you showed me.
When I am gone from this place,
You may believe yourself well rid of me,
You may think yourself well served to forget me,
But I promise you,
In death, I will be an Avenging Angel,
No longer content to sit meekly by,
No more willing to be invisible.
In death, I will be Wrath, reborn,
Measuring your sanity as a Fate measures thread.
I will whisper you awake in the night,
With the screams of a Banshee, unleashed,
And you will remember my name, my face, my story,
You so callously cast aside as I lived.
I may not be strong enough, in this skin,
To stand toe-to-toe and demand decency,
But with shedding this skin, I shed all that holds me back,
I remove all the chains used to hold me down,
I become a force of Nature, without this flesh,
And like a force of Nature,
I will sweep away all that has ever barred me.
The only way to escape the path forged by the tornado in my soul,
Is to prove yourself no threat to me, now.