Defiance

you’re the cracks in my mirror.
remember when you put them
there? I cried, and you yelled,
and when I ran— you didn’t like
it.

you don’t like a lot about me, which—
fair. I don’t like a lot about
myself. I talk too much, or not
enough, and I never speak up
at the right time. I never do what
I’m supposed to do, really, and
I’m sorry for that one time I
disappointed you, and that other
time, and the time after that,
and the time after that…

I’m sorry for whatever I did that
makes you think I deserve this.

don’t deserve this.

but now even when I make eye contact
with my reflection
I’m fragmented.

(not broken. I don’t need to be
fucking fixed.)

I can only see pieces at a time,
struggling to remember the rest
that were there.
If I look I can remember,
but some of me can’t be found,
swept away in shards that cut my
palms and sprinkled my shoulders
when I smoothed bloody fingers
through the tangles of my hair.
I’m gnarled, I’m twisted, I’m
not pristine but I’m not
here to bend down so you have
somewhere to
rest your fucking feet.

the parts of me that got caught in
your convulsive clutch
and tossed away like last month’s
letters are gone
but not all those spaces are hollow,
not all of them ache of void.

when you weren’t looking I scavenged
from the pine trees,
stole from the kitchen drawers, I
carved monuments in my mistakes
and melted down relief with the
sun as my forge.

now there are locks on the
doors and fury on my lips
and one day—
I will be the rock and the hard
place and you will be the one
struggling to breathe.

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