For twenty years I lived with my neck under
The weight of your crushing foot
When foot is just a metaphor for control. Dominance.
Paralyzed, not in body, but mind and spirit
With fear. Despondency. Cowardice. The one thing I could never
Forgive myself for.
My skin soaked in your territorial piss and now
Can’t wash it all away
Can’t hope it all away
Can’t scream it all away
Can’t cry it all away
Can’t scratch it all away
How long is now
I hope you die before you see this
Because I’m too much of a coward to
Say it to the cracks in your face
I wish my hate meant something
I wish it moved more than my arms to
Violently stab this pen into paper
Or to inflict this misguided damage upon myself
With blade and blood
I’ve found another way to
Caress this pain
And agitate this withered heart
My guts and callouses
And everything they’ve seen
Every stitch of flesh I’ve given
You’re insatiable; ugly
Your subtleties they strangle me
And my worst fears are made flesh
And I can’t recognize my engorged face- blue and purple
And when there is no god or law to beg
And when I have screamed until I faint
And when there is nothing left but a body
And when there is nothing but my mangled remains
And when there is nothing
I hope you’re happy.
In you I lose myself
When I’m tired of white knuckling through life you are there to ease the pain. A balm for my suffering. Full of depth. Deeper-than-blood red. Brown like honey. Clear like a river. Whatever color I need you paint my world with. Intoxicate me. Make me forget. Release me from all inhibitions. I fall asleep with you in my hands. Cathartic comatose-like sleep. My first taste of peace. I love you, my crutch. My safety. I don’t even have to speak and you know how to treat me. You don’t waste time in taking away all my burdens. All my thoughts you empty me of. All my weight you carry. All the ugliness in this world that I reflect, you erase.
Bio: Amber Miller is currently studying teacher education in the Midwest. Miller's poetry and essays have been featured in The New Verse News, Making queer history, and Aois21 Publishing.
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