Wednesday, October 30, 2019

weight of a word

age 22
the first time my therapist 
uses the forbidden term 
i remember how that noun 
sank into my body 
an anvil dropping down down
into the sea
nowhere to be found 
for day weeks months 
i couldn’t even say the word
without wanting to vomit 
i even told my husband 
i wanted to die just to be reborn 
as if that would clean 
up those dirty places 
i dared not even touch 
so i stopped saying the word 
called it the big bad 
big ugly 
my own personal Voldemort 
anything except the actual word 
to extricate myself from the reality 
that came barreling with it 
and that’s the problem 
you see 
how could i ever heal
from a word i refused to say?
i let that word place cuffs
upon my wrists 
shackles around my ankles 
and duct tape over my mouth 
the only way to break free 
i realized 
was to begin saying 
without shame or fear or filter 
that i survived 
the word no one ever wants to hear

*Published in From The Ashes: An International Anthology of Womxn's Poetry