by Keya Acharya
*Trigger Warning: Sexual Violence/ Trauma
there’s one on the back side of my funny bone
from when the doctor injected numbing cream
and then twisted a metal circle piece into my arm
and dug the skin out
a long skinny one on my toe
(the sides of the swimming pool
rubbed against it)
my left knee is more scar tissue than flesh
i fell 100 times
learning how to ride a bike
i was every kid crying
with a bloody knee
there are stretch marks
on my hips
on my breasts…
but I can’t talk about my breasts without mentioning you,
Where did you ever learn to take that which isn’t yours??
You invade every fuckin’ poem I write.
I know only how to write the trauma poem,
the sexual abuse trigger warning,
the body stealing poem
I can tell you the ways to write trauma.
I can tell you in between tears and a runny nose
when I told him to stop
he turned my screams into white noise
I almost bought a binder.
These breasts still feel like his
5 years after assault 1
I sat on a porch
after assault 3 part 2
my entire body shaking
I called for my therapist
cried to my advisor
the same person who groped me last year, touched me again
she didn’t even hesitate
before canceling her class to come sit with me
This should not surprise me.
I can speak of the days I am survivor,
but the days I am victim
I will not speak to you of him
in coherent statements
he told me my boobs felt like mangoes,
looked at me as if I was supposed to say thank you
I can only speak of him in poems.
when asked why I’m so stressed, what’s going on?
I’ve learned to always lie
how do I say that when I slept
in my friends bed,
I wondered if they would steal my body
I can’t trust my own eyes.
When I turn around,
and look behind me
in the dark,
he is always there
I know the ways to write trauma,
but have not yet unraveled it.
I’ve never told anyone precisely what happened.
I’m still trying to sew together stretch marks on breasts,
still trying to make my patch work worthy,
still trying to
Keya is a spoken word poet more than she is anything else. She’s a lover of revolutionary art, an obsessive editor of poetry, and an absolute dreamer.