The Reality

(Content note: Sexual assault)

Give me a moment.
Just a moment of time in this swiftly turning
always moving, frantically humming
over-caffeinated universe —
just give me a moment
to tell you one thing.

One story. One thing to say.
I want to scream it from the mountain tops
with a bullhorn the size of Nebraska,
I want to tell my story to all generations of women.
I want them to know about the night my soul was shattered and I
had to pick up the pieces of splintered, shattered shards,
invisible to those who see only with their eyes.

I want one moment of time for you to hear the words of a
woman, student, pseudo-writer whose
angry, wounded, soul, voice, and flame is flickering but
refuses to die.
I want my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren
to sit at my slippered feet and blanketed knees
as I tell them in the strong voice of a woman, re-formed,
the story of how I came to be reborn
through a process of my own reclamation.
I want to bless them with my wrinkled hands
and touch their young, pink cheeks as I tell them
they will always be beautiful
and hold their small, sweaty hands in my
veiny, transparent ones as I pray–
to a god I somehow found to believe in–
I pray they never need to rebuild themselves

In this manic episode of a world where
time is money and money is everything
can you stop to hear the shattering of a spirit?
Can you listen to a story of
betrayal and
disempowerment and
violation and
hear the raw pain behind the poised smile?
Can you sit with someone in a pain so deep
it moves beyond the physical to the spiritual realm
and overrides any preexisting notion of god,
or would you rather go to the safety of your home
and watch a dramatized assault on ‘Law and Order’
so you can entertain your morbid fascination with the terrors of our world
and never need to sit
with the reality?

Did you know that when a soul is breaking it makes no sound at all?
And it won’t be a clean break.
It’s not something that just heals with a little time and some Elmer’s glue,
no, souls shatter and splinter and leave shards,
hidden in the deep, private depths of a body
once beautiful and confident that now
rides the waves passively. Empty.
Like a conch shell once housing a living creature
that has since died
or moved
or been eaten.

In a world where “no means no”
is as cliché as any other
meaningless proverb or colloquial phrase,
I hold within my body an example of a time when
“no” supposedly meant “yes,”
and I was the only casualty of the subsequent war
everyone else denies ever happened.
The body—no longer drawn together by a whole, integrated soul –
wanders through life
angry but emotionless,
waiting to feel, wanting to run until it drops,
exhausted and broken on the outside
just so others can see the shattered pieces,
hoping to create something new from the broken parts,
hoping to find

Give me a moment.
Just one moment for this
woman, student, pseudo-writer who is
clinging to moonbeams as the only thing she can find to hold on to,
slow down this digital age-fast forward-café mocha latte lifestyle to hear
an old-fashioned telegraph:

Fragile. Stop.
Handle with care. Stop.
This soul
is too precious
for you to touch.


2 thoughts on “The Reality

Add yours

  1. Wow, Laura. I heard your voice as I read this. Your poetry is so pure, so tender, so deep. Thank you for sharing it.


    Sent from my iPad


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