I Don’t Even Know Your Name

Elyse_010 (1)

Your hands shaped the way I see myself,
directed the dreams I dream at night,
created the pictures I see in the shadows
when I should be sleeping.
I am furiously and frantically enraged,
but I don’t know where to direct it:
I don’t even know your name.

I don’t know how to grieve
that little girl you murdered,
the woman still stuck in that dark cage
of that dark room that was supposed to be
Because I don’t know your name.

I wish there were reparations I could demand
to rebuild the foundation you cracked.
To take the heaviness you laid on my body
and wash the weight away.
I feel branded by your touch, and yet
the marking remains unclear because
I still don’t know your name.

I don’t know how to let fragments of memory be reality,
because the images are blurs and
the feelings overtake me like rough waves:
I am a tiny child again and again.
You left a calling card in the invisible scars
rent into my soul. But still
I don’t know your name.

I’ve spent years growing twisted and tangled,
tied around myself until I can no longer move.
I wonder what the years have done to you?
What kind of face you see
when you look in the mirror.
Can you see the shame like I do?
Buried in my eyes.
But I don’t even know your name.

Every time I take a razor and try
to cut myself away from the shame and despair.
Every time I try new ways to punish my body
Every time I drank to numb the hurt that was choking me.
Every time I starve myself in an effort to be less:
less tied to living, to needing, to hunger, to want.
Every time
I wish I could make you feel
the things you’ve made me feel.
But I don’t have a name to send them to.

I have carried pieces of sandpaper in my pockets
to slowly dust away my own story,
rubbing off bits
here and there
until I am smooth and shapeless,
and I have lost all the things I would have wanted
if things had somehow been different.
I want so badly to be angry,
to tear away the skin from your face and break
your fingers one by one.
But I don’t even know your fucking name.

I want the luxury of forgiveness.
The freedom to be outraged,
the release of grieve and lament.
I want to throw rocks against the sky and shake
my fist at everything.
I want body-shuddering-shattering fits of tears.
Rage so strong I can feel its heat.
So that I can someday loosen my fists,
open my hands and let go.
But I have no one to hate and no one
to forgive, because
I don’t even know your name.


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