If I ever spoke to you again, these would be my last words.
Do you know what it’s like to be robbed?
Do you know what it feels like to have someone break into your home
and knock over the furniture and steal your favorite things and leave the door wide open?
For months, my body has not been my own.
You kicked me out, told me that my home was yours.
The bruises on my neck were unfamiliar.
Somedays I still see them on my neck but I remind myself that they are just a shadow,
that the body heels long before the mind does.
The sleepless nights knocked on my door and I begged them to go away,
to please just let me sleep without the scene replaying over in my dreams.
My lungs still fill with tears, and the feeling of drowning is all too familiar.
Sometimes I can feel your body pressed against my chest,
helpless while you rob me of what took so long to build.
That dress still hangs in my closet, unworn and still covered in spit and tears and blood.
I’ll never let it touch my body again, but I leave it there as a reminder.
That even though you robbed my home, your hands couldn’t carry it all out the door. You couldn’t take all of my laughter or ability to love or happiness. I’m stealing it all back, reclaiming the body that I grew up in. I’ll rebuild; painting over the bruises and replacing the furniture to forget the pain you left. Someday I’ll burn that dress too. Or I’ll return it to you, as one last reminder that as hard as you tried, you couldn’t tear my home down.