When things fall apart, day 1

I am not a poet

Lately everything has been spilling out of my head
Old memories, toy boxes and building blocks with my sister.
Sunlight. Pulling on a foot as an infant when an IV pulled me back.
I remember.
I remember the way he looked at me and said you are broken
And I love you, and I can feel your pieces
I remember the way that he said he could fix me
That he had the glue to do so
Like I needed fixing
Like I was not already whole
Like I could not see my own body.
Could not see that there were no tears in my aortas,
my sternum was intact, but bruised
There was a wring of purple spots
That decorated my arm
Like a crown
For a broken
Princess

II.

I remember
I remember the way he looked at me when he said
He’d rather be sleeping with her than with me.
The smile on his lips when he told me I wasn’t attractive.

I remember the unrequited love
Boy after boy who seemed to date my best friend
But not me.
And how this made me feel the validations of those words
You are broken.

I let him try to fix me
Like six inches of parental fortitude
Were enough to anchor me to the moment
When all I wanted was to walk away

I remember when I told them
Please put me away
And I was scared, and I was lonely
And they laughed at me.
I remember.

Lately everything has been spilling out of my head.
I don’t have any words because they are all memories.
Netflix is running but paused, and I haven’t noticed the sign,
asking if I’m still watching.
I am still watching
I am watching the girl who was never broken but who was told
That her body came in pieces
The girl who has ripped herself apart to find the smooth edges she can glue back together

Don’t drink, they tell me.
Don’t mix pills.
Stop looking like a whore.

I remember.
I remember everything.
I remember the thing that stirred inside of me.
The bathroom stall, the echoed sobs

I remember that I would never tell him
This man who did not deserve to know

I remember that day when he looked at me
In front of the library, twenty feet apart
And I think I saw the pain in his eyes,

I remember.
I remember all of it. Every detail. Every wish.
How could he? How could we? How could I?
How could I have fixed this? How could I have made this better?
How could we have saved me?

The way he said to me: you are broken.
And I can feel your edges.
I should have told him they are not edges.
They are not sharp. They will not cut him.
They are lines. Tattoos. Visa stamps.
They are me. He is mistaken.
I am not shattered pieces.
I am whole.

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