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every one of my teeth has a thundering heartbeat at the thought of the
memory of you; i am just trying to survive.
you fade into the ringing of my ears. constant ringing louder, louder,
and louder still, but it peaks in pitch, racing to high shrieks.
what gave you the right to pound back into my subconscious? my head
aches in waves, rejecting and rejecting and rejecting past remarks
etched deep into the furthest reaches of dependent self.
you have no place here, saint vanity; you have no place here, false
shepherd; you have no place here, venus fly trap.
you were and are venom; i finally cast you out.
you underestimated me. not just my ability, but my hatred.
it has yet to dim since its awakening. a blazing blue flame that
endless rage – have you ever felt it? the sting of the scorpion? have
you tasted your own venom?
you will. you will.
it tastes sour on the tongue, my favorite flavor. burning bitter, then
a firm lemon freshly plucked, freshly bitten and sucked.
i shiver first, a feeble reflex, then straighten out.
and like the lemon, i will finish you.
old medicine. an onion leeching toxin out.
but your bite wasn’t a spider’s, or even a snake’s. i was poisoned
right from the start.
but day by day, the onion strips away. a deliberate detox, layer by
i did not count the days, but the old medicine always works.
there was a time when i craved the beyond, finding and falling in love
with you in the next life – our fates finally one line, intertwined.
may i next find you in a circle of hell, peeling skin till i reach
bone, bit by bit, beautifully destroyed.
all “favorite persons” in the borderline sense are toxic. even if
there is a positive relationship, it is dependent on your own
i thought He was a positive favorite person once. but breathing and
living solely for another will never and can never be anything but
what i was doing wasn’t living. if anything, it was a cursed life, a
half-life. forever drinking unicorn blood, forever wasting away.
reject them. reject Him. you have to.
in my misery, i curse you; in my euphoria, i curse you.
may every next day be endless misery; may it fester and fester and
fester until it consumes the thin borders of your being.
may it assault you at all hours of the night, of every minute of every
day; a guilt so vast it sets every nerve, every vessel, every pore on
know this at 4am, know this at 6pm: you deserve nothing; you shall see
your family exists despite you; i do not spite them for your villainy.
just you and only you, as it always was – as it never should have
i will now be the one to always find your strings; i’ll watch you
dance as i yank, and i’ll smile.
and yet you lingered like a cough.
or were my lungs just drowning in your lies?
how much energy do i divert to your ruin? isn’t that just re-devoting
myself to you again? even if to destroy?
yes i am coping, yet i must live independently again.
even though my vengeance is justified, it cannot bind me – blind me.
i have emerged from the cave. my reality is no longer shadowy figures,
those figments of your attention and love. i must seek out my own
truth. That is identity.
i have been having dreams of past school experiences.
some of them have featured you.
it is most unfortunate.
in my dreams, i walk on glass in your classroom, all heartburn and
you act like you always have – playful, cheerful, but a leeching
agenda always lurking under your surface.
before, i would play along. i would act the part. i would be the
but now, in those dreams, i am afraid.
more than afraid. i am tossed back into childhood, heavy breathing,
managing my mother. managing my survival.
you are over my shoulder, breathing, sending chills down my spine. my
words can’t come out. my strength is gone-
no. that implies that you are sapping my strength.
the situation is the one that saps. i can’t rightly act out against
you. in this classroom. in this institution. with these witnesses. all
these bodies are your allies.
you out to be.
i stagger through your questions, then sprint. why can’t you leave me
please, please, please leave me be. i don’t want this anymore.
i don’t want to explain these photos.
i don’t want to explain anything else.
you have taken so much of me.
how much have you kept?
i stumble out of the classroom, only for you to pursue.
down stairs and through doors. through labs and through hallways.
outside, inside. in cars, in alleyways.
you are always right behind me.
leave me alone.
but you persist. you follow.
you assume nothing has changed.
your stare lingers too long, too long.
i’ve removed you from my waking life, but not this subconscious.
please please please leave me be. i don’t want this anymore.
why won’t you leave? why can’t you leave?
even the furthest reaches of my dreams aren’t safe.
how long will it take to purge you from me completely?
another year? five years? ten?
in my dreams, you are all too in character. all too arrogant. all too
your voice painfully crisp. your touch sickeningly warm. your stare
all too familiar.
i fear that something much deeper inside me still wants you.
i want to gouge it out. claw it out completely.
so you can never have me again.
you were and are venom; i finally cast you out.
Mica England is a queer photographer and writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. They graduated from Academy of Art University in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. After graduation, Mica created temporary collective, a female photography collective, with Maddie Dignadice and Maddie Shelton. They are also one half of Robin and Ripley, an artist duo of child abuse survivors exploring trust and trauma together.
Mica’s work has been featured in AAU’s 2017 Spring Show in both Fine Art Book Arts and Photography, twice at the Gallery of Broken Hearts in San Francisco, 2019’s Julia Margaret Cameron Awards, with Femme Fotale at Northlight Gallery, and at the Midwest Center for Photography. Mica has made the Lucie Emerging Scholarship shortlist in 2017 and 2018. They have also shown at the 2019 AOP Awards and Object Space Gallery with temporary collective. Mica was an artist in residence at In-Cahoots Residency for printmaking and book arts in November and will return March 2021. Mica uses both “she/her” and “they/them” pronouns.