by Lisa Russell, 2014 ©
She is the serpent amongst the grass,
a bare skinned girl in the forest of teeth and nails,
a butterfly trapped in a hornet’s nest,
the ant stuck in the sap dripping down.
She sleeps on a bed of bones
between the walls and inside your mind
in your nightmares.
She lives in a home of crumbled walls,
tomato plants growing in the bathtub,
that stench never washing off
always brings her back
something like a skeleton
walking from this bedroom to you.
She will never remember what she chose to forget
but that choice will haunt her the rest of her days,
holes eaten from her brain like moths in her skull,
cigarette burns through faces in photographs.
If you name the monster the fear becomes real
and the tears will flow
like the blood from our wombs
welling up only to burst.
Freedom hangs like stars in the sky
she can’t feel the heat of the sun on her face
and she can’t help but want to be consumed
warm in someone’s belly
just for a little while.