When my grandmother was 21

Her husband tried to kill her


My grandfather choked his wife

Until she blacked out

While my mother watched

Unable to move from fear


She loved my grandfather

And so did I


But I didn’t hear this story

Until he was dead


And my grandmother

Was thousands of miles away


Where no one

Not even the people who love her


Can reach her



When I was 18

My boyfriend choked me until I blacked out


I remember trying to slap his face
But I just couldn’t reach


I cried and gasped for air

Until everything was a haze


The next thing I remember
Is waking up and loving him


Loving him the way I loved my grandfather



I don’t know what it is about us
That makes people think


That we deserve to be broken

That we want it


But it seems like the two of us have fissures

In all of the same places


And these cracks can’t be filled in
With promises and blood vessels


Both broken



As a child I wondered

Why she moved so far away from me


But now I know
How hard it is


To wake up at night

And see everyone who has ever touched you


Every time
You start to settle into sleep again


So I too wonder

If someday I will move


Deep into the woods

Where no one can find me


And tear up my dreams




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