I am always on trial for something;
always finding my brain cuffing me
behind bars made of my own skin.
And so we’re here again like clockwork.
I am the gavel beating against the walls
of my head.
I am the guards holding me in contempt.
I am the argument made against myself.
Every day, I am my own judge and jury.
I am the sharp, unforgiving blade of the
I am the crowd outside and their guilty!
I ache because I cannot shake this feeling.
I cannot rub it off my skin.
I am most guilty because I cannot forget,
I cannot forget how beautiful you look
– Disclaimer: The title of this poem is a line from Traci Brimhall’s piece “Requiem for the Firstborn”.
Elle is a Writing Club project. Learn a little bit about her here.
When we met, you told me that
you got called “bitch” about
five times a day and that it
came with the job, your ears
now numb to the agony the
daggers shooting out of everyone’s
lips meant to inflict. You
said you’d gotten to the point
where your expectations had dug
a hole so deep, it reached the
other side of the world and
that you’d wished to jump into
that hole, wished to end up
anywhere but right here.
It was that melancholy in your
eyes that reeled me in. It poked
through me like a hook and pulled
me towards you and I didn’t dare
deny its wishes. You pulled me out
of the dark realms of the ocean with
the strength of a hundred starving
fishermen and I shot out and into you.
In your eyes, I planned to create
galaxies where I would name all
the stars and planets after you.
I’ve watched them sparkle and light
up darknesses I could have never
recovered from without your aid.
Love, you wore that sadness on your
limbs like a super model but in love,
you are the most beautiful thing I
have ever laid eyes on. That night
when you’d pushed your needle
into me, you injected me with more
than just black ink, and when you
drilled it against my skin, you colored
oxygen deep into my lifeless arteries,
you inking your exquisite name across
my veins without my approval. Every pore
of my flesh fell in love with your
touch, my love. Love, I knew from the
moment I met you that this is where
I wanted us to end up. I wanted
you, and I was broken in a way that left
nothing in me whole enough to be halved
again, so I wished and I waited,
– arms extended and heart as heavy
as silence – for the moment you’d smash
into me hard enough for all my pieces to be
called together again, to be pulled together
again by your illustrious grace.
And now I stand here before you, and
my Elle, I take you – ink under my skin
and burn burn burn in my heart. Every
inch of my skin will tell our story.
This is my body, and this is your canvas.
Use my skin to tell the world everything
you want about us.