Conversation with my Body

I ask what happened to me? and
my body says ​it is not easy
housing crime scenes.

No one picks up the violence,
just leaves it in the middle of the living room to fester
climbs all over the furniture and snuggles into
beds without invitation like it don’t got no goddamn manners.

You try keeping people in here when you can’t have a conversation
without the fucking ghosts chiming in.
They scare so no coming back
the kids don’t even ding dong ditch
this horror story.
every window
every door a howling.
Don’t matter that this mouth can tell a good joke or two.
Who wants to hug wounds?

I ask what happened to me and
my body says
I’d tell you to piss off

but men in church suits and
other swirled in faces have made it impossible.

I ask please don’t tell me and
my body says ​you have no choice.

You are eight years old and
the blood hasn’t dried on your wallpaper yet.
You can’t shut yourself from the evil you are.
Call is coming from inside the house and
you dialed the truth.
Don’t matter how it cold case your hands.

I ask why can’t I be better and
my body says
the last time we gentled

the worst got the best of us.
I wish they had destroyed this house
but that would’ve been too kind
and we are not talking about kindness here.

I ask please can we love them better and
my body says
the police tape strangles the good

we’re trying
to do here.

You’ve got to horrify love
to keep it.

I say no no, nevermind, don’t tell me and
my body ignores
someone reached inside

and you still cannot get them out.

I say I don’t believe you and
my body says

you’re still waiting for her to hit you.
Aren’t you?

I say nothing and
my body says
trauma has riddled our skin

Rip us apart
so you can let the ghosts out.

I say The ghosts are still here
and my body shrugs

the ghosts come back stronger.

I say How do I get rid of this and
my body howls and claws

and monsters:

Don’t you know
there is no cure.

I say I don’t know but this body breathes
even the healing haunts.



Alexis Smithers is a queer black creator and web development student. 2015 Pink Door Fellow, 2016 LAMBDA Literary Emerging Writer, and 2018 #GrowWithGoogle Scholarship Recipient, they are a staff writer for Autostraddle. Their work has been featured in, and Glass: Poetry among others. You can find their work here, support them on Patreon, and follow them on Twitter.

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