You have my word

One word can change your life.

A death march for the living

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Wedding vows mean nothing if there is no one at the altar. No amount of flowers, placed on the floor of the church, can make this a wedding if there is no bride.

I am at the altar. I am alone. Ring the bells and let’s call it a funeral. A death march at least shows some movement – at least for the living.

When will my love come? How long must I wait?

I am washed in white – a marble winter in an empty chapel. Grey doves roost on the beams above. Teach me to fly.

This is how I will remember myself:

darkness

:: Click :: I am standing in a baby blue crinkled chiffon dress. It has a big golden bow tied around the middle and I am not wearing any shoes. I have been taught to smile even if I am uncomfortable… even if I hate myself… even if I am unhappy.

:: Click :: I am sitting with four of my friends on a hollow log that washed up on the beach. I am four years old and wearing only my white panties – pot belly in full view. The sand is stinging my skin and I have to scrunch my eyes from the burn of the sun. I am already so self-conscious.

:: Click :: I am wearing a cowboy hat, holding two plastic pistols in my hands. My feet are dirty; I’ve been catching bad guys in the back yard all day. I didn’t realise that the real bad guy sleeps in my mother’s bed. I haven’t caught him yet.

:: Click :: I am trying to pee standing up. I am seven years old and I already know that I’ll be hurt less if I am a boy.

:: Click :: I am looking at a naked woman for the first time. I can’t touch her – my friend says he doesn’t want fingerprints on his computer screen.

:: Click :: I am reduced to a naked photo on my friend’s phone. The screen already has his fingerprints on it – I am not the first. I feel beautiful for the first time in a long time. He asked for it.

:: Click :: The night I kissed her breasts, everything suddenly made sense.

:: Click :: I am clutched mid-arm-wrestle like an animal clutched in violent coitus. The boy who sits opposite is older than me. He is surrounded by his friends. My friends are on the playground picking at their lunch without me. I refuse to shave my legs so I’m not one of the girls.

:: Click :: I take a photo of my private parts. The last time I checked I was one of the girls.

:: Click :: I am sitting in Sunday School and while the teacher prays for our snacks, I pray that he will die.

:: Click :: I’m playing house-house wearing my father’s tie. I’m the man. I’m the boss. I’m in charge. I can’t be harmed. I am untouchable. My teddy bear plays the role of my wife and another plays the role of my daughter. They never say a word.

:: Click :: I am beating my friend with a bat because he stood on my wife and drop-kicked my daughter.

:: Click :: My father is beating me in a small washroom just outside the house. I am three years old. He was always careful not to mix business and pleasure.

:: Click :: I live in my own house now and I can sleep with my bedroom door open.

:: Click :: I hope my own children sleep easily. They don’t deserve to have that small safely stolen from them… no one does.

:: Click :: One day I have a son with eyes the colour of dreams. I am a good mother.

:: Click :: Years later and I am reading a bedtime story to a little girl who is already asleep. The hero is slaying the monsters for me.

I am burning and will not stop

  I gave you my words and you burned the pages of my scripture. I gave you the ink, my veins, my pen, this pain, my peace. You left me for ashes and cinder and matches at the start of an inferno. 

I am wild fire. I burn through cities that have never seen light. I burn through hearts that have never known warmth or hurt. I won’t apologise. I won’t look back. I won’t cower. I won’t ask for pardon. I won’t stop. 

I burn, forging my own way – my own form in this fire. I strike while it’s hot. I will brand my own name shaping blades from the furnace. Scathing. Sure. Smooth. Silent. I won’t make a scene. There won’t be a sound when metal collides with bone. 

Here lies the sword and hurt in the fire of burning scripture. I am a pilgrim rewriting my gospel. 

Follow the movement and embrace the chaos

  
This movement. This stillness. This progress. This oppression. This chaos. This peace. This flight. This fight. This strength. 

This fear. This noise. This quiet. This rage. This calm. This courage. This destruction. This unknown. 

This certainty. These lies. This truth. This pain. This numb. This paralysis. This movement. 

This stillness. This progress. This cycle. This end. 

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