Wednesday, May 31, 2017


By Micah Fletcher

I have watched men and women
Take their skin with scissors
And cut it down the middle
Pulling it apart
Like a bad Halloween mask
I have watched men and women
Sit there and paint themselves
The color of whatever they want to be
Because they believed
That a tattoo that they were born with all over
Would stop them from being
whatever they believed was growing in them
Beautiful gut
I have watched men and women
Shatter mirrors and take the shards
And cut it open
watching their wrists
As a glass shard travels 28 centimeters
across somebody’s wrist
Just to find it is the end of the journey
All I have to say to you
And I mean you
Is I am so sorry
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before
There are some days
When you can barely lift your wings
They are heavy and cold
Wet with the teardrops
That fall from that obscene fiery ball in the sky
And there are other days
When your veins are full of kerosene
Fingers open and closed
Because they are Zippos
And your lungs are billows blowing into a furnace
where a heart should be
A burning cathedral
Born on a Monday
In a one-way alley
And three men brutalized me
At the age of seven
I knew what the cement tasted like
And there are other days
You feel empty
The fires burn out
Your wings dry and you are left to curl up in a ball
Let your outer carapace camoflouge you
On a mountaintop
Cool…hard…and empty
As if the blue pills I take in the morning
Full of amphetamines
Are instead black holes in capsules
Sucking the emotions inside of me by their tassles
Until I am left undecorated
A house made homeless
Save its roof and front door
There’s another thing I’ve met
Both men and women
Who have suffered from
Men and women who are called whores
Houses with shattered windows
And crooked panes with cracked ceilings
And faded stains
They’re victimizers
Playing these panes on the colors
Of their welcome mats
Or on the signs on the front door that read
I know that being jumped and being raped
Are not the same thing
Despite both sometimes being blamed
on the way that we dressed
But why
Is it that in some situations I am called a victim
And he or she that society has the audacity
to call from some broken home
That should have known better
Than to be built in such a bad neighborhood
Are we that fucking blind?
Are we stricken or guilty?
Why don’t we just sew our eyes shut
Because we’re too scared to admit
We don’t know how to stitch bedsheets back together
When they’ve been ripped form the seams
It seems we don’t know anymore
I mean after all
Where does prevention stop
And where does protection begin?

This poem won the Verslandia Poetry Slam in 2013 and you can see Micah performing it here.  

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