The smell of the foreign cuisine
Makes my ribs ache in agony
as nausea overpowers my senses
until all that is left is desperate panic.
"Please don't hurt me, I'm sorry, mommy, I'm sorry!"
The sensation of ice cubes on my skin
Leaves me powerless
The flashbacks of the crystal cube sliding inside of my unwilling body
A pawn in my rapist's sick game
"Shh, just stay still princess."
Deep dark abyss
The strong scent of urine and feces
"Shit, we're gonna die in here!"
Wooden splinters in my little hands from banging on the locked door, begging for freedom.
The shiny metal still burns my wrist years later
As my body reminisces
Blazing heat, desperate cries for mommy,
Ice packs in the ambulance ride to hell
"That's gotta hurt like a bitch."
The tiny scrap of metal injecting poison into his bloodstream.
"Call 911, he's having a seizure"
The screams of my brother as he convulses on the floor.
Crying and struggling in the CPS worker's arms as they take him away on a hospital bed.
My father preaching the sermon on Sunday morning
As the blood leaks into my underwear from the previous night.
Being raped in the Sunday School bathroom before going to volunteer with the babies.
Whispering reassurance to crying infants
"It's alright. It's gonna be okay..."
But even I don't believe it's true.
Even as the burning acid is poured down my aching throat my brain is reading the label on the container
"Clorox. Keep out of reach of children."
Irony at its finest, spitting in my face.
The fumes envelop my lungs and brain
As the choking sensation takes over
And the phantom pain sets in on my arms
While the taste becomes embedded in my tongue
"She's lucky to have survived."
I still don't feel lucky.
My bloodstained summer dress.
Clutching the hand of a dead body like it is my own lifeline.
The blind naiveté of my nine-year-old self gone forever.
Watching her blood run like tiny rivers into the shower drain.
"Maybe we're both dead and I'm a zombie."
Trapped underneath my father as he commits the ultimate crime,
breaking and entering into my ten-year-old body
And stealing whatever scraps of innocence I have left
"Daddy's little girl is gonna be real good for me. Shhh, don't get loud, you'll wake your baby brother."
Pretending I have a stomach-ache as I attempt to walk around Hershey Park the next day.
Faking smiles for my excited little brother.
The National Aquarium
Hospital psych wards
Christmas tree lights
"She's completely overreacting"
"God, she's so dramatic."
"She's just an attention-seeker."
There is no warning...
Before they pull the trigger.