CHOKE ON MY POETRY THE WAY I CHOKED ON YOUR FISTS
Split my tail wide open, in two, and watch people ask me why I can’t swim.
Watch me choke on water, on air;
watch me choke on blood.
Choke on me, choke on anger, choke on words, choke on a woman you never silenced.
Maybe once, but not since.
Choke on my poetry the way I choked on your fists.
Watch them blame the siren, never the sailor.
(How I would have loved to have my screams heard the way their songs are.)
Watch the tide crash over me again and again the way your body did.
Watch it leave me clean in all the ways I haven’t felt since you decided you were
a mermaid hunter -
- and my tail was yours for the taking.
You tore oceans and kingdoms from me with your teeth
and I’ve built new ones with the salt water from my eyes
that haven’t been dry since you made me your Ariel.
You are not Prince Charming.
You are a drunken dirty sailor and I did not ask to be made a woman by you.
I refuse to give up my tongue for you.
I cannot walk but I can scream.
Choke on my words the way I choked on your smell.
Watch me return to the sea.
When the smell of his grandmother’s home creeps in,
drench yourself in your favourite perfume and smile.
If you must, focus on the oleander trees outside her front yard,
Focus on the feeling of being out that front door -
Not on the rope around your wrist,
around the bed frame.
When one of the potential 68 songs inevitably comes on in the supermarket,
Call your mother and ask her to remind you which laundry detergent you needed.
Buy yourself three different magazines
and become so intent in how your cashier’s day is going,
you cannot feel your hands shaking as you take your change.
There are very small things you can do to make the ground stop moving out from under
Changing jobs and mobile phone numbers helps you sleep a little easier at night but
they don’t make you any less nauseous in the morning.
That part is up to you.
If you finally have control of your own emotions again,
it’s okay to spend them a little frivolously.
Forgive yourself for the nights you spend crying on top of winter sweaters in the closet.
The time comes when you know how to save your strength,
when a raised voice doesn’t cause you to spill milk
and when you learn to yell yourself.
Isobel is an 18yo West Australian currently studying Political Science and writing angry and angsty poetry in her spare time. You can find more of her writing at www.trophywifetrash.tumblr.com