I was a mountain by Melita White

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1:19am
The conscious avoidance of sleep to delay the dreams to stave off morning which is always hardest
Dreams will come and last night they were good and then bad and I woke to spontaneous tears on sore sleepy eyeballs dry then hot and wet but scratchy from salt and then swelling and bursting from pain and then freezing cold from the ice laid upon them
When I was six I yelled and screamed with righteousness at the malign mistress of maltreatment and punched and hit indiscriminately all manner of things with my pillow and the rage and pain burst out like lava from a fissure that needed so much to crack open and my mother was afraid of me in that moment and though the lesson did not teach her anything (she was immune) I learnt there was power in my truth and in my rage
I was a mountain
To freeze is not to escape but is to survive temporarily
A fawn is a baby deer but it also means to play along so someone doesn’t kill you
To flee is to run away from danger and escape
And to be able to fight and win — what a dream and privilege that would be
That poem I wrote the day after I escaped, its aftershock I felt this morning
My heart was coming with pain
My oil-smothered-kohl-smudged skin no barrier to the infiltration of my pores still open to your black air
The murmurs that catch my breath today are my heart still trembling, still alive like a tiny frail bird with hollow bones beating her wings inside my chest cavity
My lungs feel stressed from trying to resist your molecules entering my atmosphere — thank god I know how to breathe, I’ve been doing it my whole life
But does the bird know how to fly away?
My six year old awoke this morning and her rage was amplified so hard by life that the walls pulsed, the glass throbbed and the wood thumped in sympathy
I will give you a thumping my father said to my brother
It was a threat to behave better like your hands near my throat were a suggestion of death, of the end you wished for me, a reminder to never step out of line
But I didn’t step — I fucking ran
I fled and didn’t look back but crescent moon talons drenched in glitter paint dragged me back to your veiled love nest
You need your playthings: your dead mice to poke your fingers at once you’ve snuffed out their lives
I heard your nervous snivelling, the moan you had about your loss (you lost a good one) and then you chuckled with glee because by golly it’s good to be bad isn’t it, oh it feels so good to take what you want and to leave a big nasty stain, a foul taste on the tongue, so good to cut off a limb, and to waste a life is the ultimate win for you
Half-dead half-here half-there
Demi-moon demi-monde demi-year
Brain semi-strong semi-fucked bisected violently
You are so strong you said so let me push a little further just to make sure
It’s hard to remember it’s all gone — thank Christ — save in my head and in the photos and promos and videos online
And in the soundtrack your chuckles echo off the walls of my memory and the sounds of coming too and the fucking in the dark when I couldn’t see your face just feel the hardness inside me of your hot cock and your cold heart simultaneously probing my innards
And in my face you shove your refusal to anchor roots to seek out moisture, your refusal to grow branches, twigs and leaves to feed fresh air to your surroundings
Instead, you pillage then burn the whole fucking village down
Tectonic plates thrust magma skywards out into the light
It forms a mountain
Poems infiltrate the water supply like truth serum so the liars are exposed and the ghosts of the villagers that you murdered stand around your house banging loudly on pots and pans to draw attention and to shame you
Charivari, the rough music of justice
Groundwater toxins buckle epidermis of earth which pops with stochastic rhythm driven nonsensical with algorithms forming sharp little mountains everywhere the music is heard
The anvil of avoidance presses down firmly, suppresses pain and signals that really should be listened to
The rough music of justice will be heard and it will make tall mountains
Were there always two of you? Split-self, split-egg, two-face, twin-set?
I remember the many facile pointless lessons reiterated yet not learnt
Like trying to convey something to a naughty alien child who could only speak Middle English, studied while time travelling to my planet in the 14th Century
So fucking close that the syllables sound somewhat right but make no sense
The dissonance so loud that the difference tones buzzed my eardrums and my filled my brain with hot fuzz like lava
And the mountains swelled and popped up randomly on the surface of my mind
And I became one
I became a mountain

Melita White is founder and writer of the blog Feminist Confessional, a space that features feminist poetry, essays and personal pieces in a confessional style, with a focus on the MeToo movement. She is a composer and musician and loves making all kinds of things. https://feministconfessional.wordpress.com

Predator by Melita White

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A smile that’s too large
A look in the eye
Too intense, unblinking
The predator spots his prey
You
A shifty glance sideways
Evasive, furtive
A question ignored
Or answered too late
That too-soon bonding
With sickly sweet compliments
So many superlatives
And nothing adds up
None of his story
Avoidance, so much
His responses don’t fit
You know it, you do
Now trust it, trust you
And if you’re not sure
Just wait, you’ll see
Something will happen
A sign, an event
This thing will make sense
Of all of your doubts
And heed it you must
For it’s the sign you were right all along
And this is the lesson
It is the great learning
The one that you weren’t taught when young
Leaving you open and prey to all
But especially open to those who profess
To like you the most, to like you the best
And offer the loveliest love of your life
You’re so hungry for love and esteem from without
That you’re open to strife
For you don’t know the feeling of love from within
Or even the sense of a self or desire
You’re lost and need good people to teach you
And bolster your spirit
And he’s not it
No
He’s not even close
And you know that he’s not
As does he, but by golly you look so tasty and he wants to gobble you up, doesn’t he?

But you’re safe now for you know it’s ok both to feel and to say:

No

Melita White is founder and writer of the blog Feminist Confessional, a space that features feminist poetry, essays and personal pieces in a confessional style, with a focus on the MeToo movement. She is a composer and musician and loves making all kinds of things. https://feministconfessional.wordpress.com