Sometimes, I wonder what why I am the way I am. What made me this way?
I was birthed in your darkness. Under the guise of “I’m okay,” and “I’m just tired.”
The house phone shatters against the wall as the mistresses pile up again. Oh, how worrisome.
You can’t call for help and a tiny heart beat races inside. This is not the first time is it dear?
I was summoned in your panic. Moments of terror stitched me together gingham style.
You can try to fight but, observe how much stronger he is. He picks you and your brother off like flies shooed away from a picnic burger.
Sticky, chubby kid hands rattle the neighbor’s gate. Your cries for help go unanswered.
I’m watching through your eyes; learning how to protect you, pet.
I know! I’ll make this memory replay at any sound louder than a sneeze.
You’ll freeze and forget where you are because we are traveling into your subconscious. My darling, when your heart races it’s me. We run now, as we ran then. That’s adrenaline slithering back in.
That wasn’t it, was it?
I was fine tuned as the years went on. Blossomed under the gaze of teenage eyes on your eleven year old body. Oh, do you recall the character panties? The comfortable pink ones you never thought twice about.
You remember what it felt like when he reached for them. You remember every time you’re touched how grueling it was to scream, kick, and cry until you went numb.
This molded me. I made you wary and suspicious. I made you jump and flinch at every slight affection. No touching of our precious shape. I made you bite back. Stiffen. So we can be safe.
I remind you of these horrors. I fed them to you on a cake fork in the middle of the night.
The laughter of elder black women at your body, I made that sound echo every time you tried on clothes. You have no shape. No curves. Bony ass. You’re nothing. Not even close to a black woman. An Oreo at best.
But I made you, pet!
I showed you how to channel the rage, the fury, the embarrassment into... art. Through Ms. Olson and the blue bowl of jolly ranchers and Dr. Julio and his tiny spectacles and velvet couch. Remember?
I walked with you through conversions and techniques. Dark to light. Misery to connection. I showed you what was real and what was missing.
I caressed you heartbreak after heartbreak.
Remember that break in? I held you close. No one came to stay with you despite your calls but I was there. We check and triple check the locks. We don't sit with our back to the windows. We know that peace is just on the other side of our diligence.
I have been by your side growing and developing inside you. Allowing you to breathe as if newborn in this life again and suffocating you like Othello.
I have been. And will be.