Trigger warning: abuse.
Bite into me and taste me like a poem: every tragically beautiful and broken word, sour but sweet.
Feel me like apricot juice running down your face.
Re-spill every tear I’ve cried.
Clutch your stomach for every gut wrenching worry I’ve weaved in my head.
Wince at the thought of him.
Feel the oxygen escape my lungs.
Cringe at the sound of his name reaching my ears like squeaky shoes on a tile floor.
Groan over how good I taste in my new untouched skin.
Drone about my past.
Arrive thirsty and drink my sorrow–every last drop.
Hang me out to dry on a laundry line while you review my laundry list of trauma.
Smell the fruit he left out to rot.
Plant a new seed.
Touch the fragile linens that comprise my body and gently trim the loose ends.
Watch runaway adolescent memories find their ways back home.
Look me in the eyes and unbreak what he broke.
Pull my healing like a corset and bind me back together.
Aly Gerdes is a graduate student at San Jose State University studying to be a teacher. Currently, she enjoys her time substitute teaching and nannying. During undergraduate studies at Sonoma State University, Aly served as a junior editor and an interim web director for the REVIVAL Zine. In addition to being the author of her self-published poetry collection, Open Letter, Aly has work published or forthcoming in Anti-Heroin Chic, The Flux, ZAUM, and Poet’s Choice.