My Name is Chuck

black converse, overcast weather, my entire body feels foreign.

Radiohead on repeat. thick rimmed glasses, lavender streaks.

about 8th grade, coming home hoping I’m alone.

but I’m not.

my grades are still slipping.

Nine Inch Nails clawing down my bedroom walls.

I’ve stopped speaking and it lasts for 6 months.

come home, take out my homework sheets.

open the Algebra book- page 62.

his fingers are slamming against the keyboard.

if I finish all the questions and get them right

maybe he’ll go home, maybe he’ll leave early.

wrong.

he eats dinner by my desk. the circles

beneath his eyes seem to have gotten darker

over the past few nights.

time for bed.

I undress, lightly run my fingers over the cuts from

yesterday’s mess. they’re not enough.

crawl into bed.

clack clack clack. as I begin to drift

into a one-eye-open sleep, his fingers cease.

my body pulses with horrified anticipation.

he walks to me and brushes the hair out of my face.

(but this wasn’t the first time, was it?

remember when I was 6 or 7 on an Easter Sunday

and I had on my church dress?

and he put me on his lap and spread my legs

and told me to go back and forth.)

so we continue on.

nights spent on the edge of my bed, hands under

my shirt, the smell of cologne tangled in my hair

so even in my dreams I smelled his disease.

it wasn’t just in the walls of my bedroom but

at his house, at my aunt’s, at school,

even in his car at 6pm after we went to get smoothies.

at twelve I was his on-call-toy.

he had even tied a ribbon around my neck once

and entitled me “bitch.”

I carved into my arm a rather large gash.

he picked up my wrist, dragged me to his mother

and told her, “Look at this! She’s doing it again.

Attention whore.”

I was sent to institution.

but because of the blade he had held to my throat,

because he promised if I said anything at all,

he would kill me,

I clamped my mouth shut and tied my tongue

into a permanent knot.

Released, back into the arms

of my 26-years-older-than-me rapist.

maybe if I stopped eating he wouldn’t want

my skeleton-like frame.

wrong.

on my 13th birthday I bled as a woman.

blood on the walls.

this is why there’s blood on the walls…

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