the forever dance

imagine if I carved a word into my skin
for every time you hurt me.
the scars would layer so closely
every movement would make the words dance.

 
PANIC
for every time I couldn’t catch my breath
just from the thought of you.
FIRE
for the moment you tried to brand me
your knife white-hot and your eyes ice cold.
GALLOWS
for every time you said you’d throw your body over
and wait for your last gasping breath.
HANDS
for the moment you shattered yours
and the shape of the marks you left on me.
BLOOD
for every time you used your knives
and called my skin your work of art.
KNOCK
for that final message,
and I left the house to hunt you down.
NIGHTMARE
for every time I woke my roommate up
screaming and crying in my sleep and unable to wake.
POLICE
for the night they saved my life and never knew
your hands on my throat and lights flashing behind us.
BOOTS
for the time you kicked my ribs
and I couldn’t sit up straight for two days.
HAIR
for every time you snatched a handful of mine
so hard I thought my neck would snap.
CAR
for every message you left on mine,
swearing you were nearby and I’d never be free.
WHISKEY
for every sip I took with you, self-medicating
so I wouldn’t feel how much you hated me.
TEETH
for the shadows you imprinted on my neck
so the world knew I was yours.
PHONE
for every time mine rang during the night
because you couldn’t even let me have sleep to myself.

 
imagine all those pearl-white letters
linked and layered over my skin
imagine if someone asked
“what is your tattoo”
and I’d have to answer
“it’s a reminder of my mistakes with him,
as if I could ever forget”

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