January dark

It was a smiling horror, those five years. A slow walk to the knife drawer on a Saturday afternoon. January dark. Eyes pleading with supermarket strangers, it’s okay love, we’ve got you, you don’t have to go back, fantasies uncoiling in the frozen aisle. It was no fairy tale back in the magnolia palace, unpainted tiptoes over egg shells and ego. Crying on the carpet, that night throwing up the blood and the bile. Keep it down as the bedroom door slammed against my suffering all the way to A & E on a lonely ambulance ride. Staying up til dawn to keep the hours spent next to that robotic carcass at a minimum. Secretly wasted on Christmas Port in August, just numb enough to slip beneath the sheets. Green around the edges, pale and uninteresting. It comes on like a glacier, casual hatred, a barely perceptible death-wish, it flickers in the ad breaks of a prescribed schedule of tv and dinner. The insidious on-set of control. Stop shaking, stop typing, that keyboard’s too loud. A love letter, the closest that ever came, bearing the words ruined and desecrated left on the bed where his body (o)pressed against mine, a figure made up of accusatory adjectives; stupid, lazy, childish, evil. In one sentence he damned me hollow, scooped out my womanhood and let it echo; you would be a bad mother. I swallowed it like a pill, all of it, the well practised Prozac princess that I am.

I have strength but I am not strong. Weakness and a dull blade on a Saturday afternoon. January dark. These were my saviours. Help me disguised as goodbye on a tiny screen and a bruise where the wound might be. These saved me. Out of my hands and into theirs. We packed it all in an afternoon, five years wrapped up in newspapers and brown tape that ought to have read Crime Scene. You can kill a person over the course of lifetime. And your mother will cry as she tries to buy you lemons in the supermarket but can’t, because he wouldn’t like it.

All those tiny cuts will bleed you out and the tragedy of your life will be in what you let die inside of you while you lived.