There Is Strength in Our Stories: Phoenix – Nikki Marrone

I was told to wait,
For a man to come my way.
The one who would wear the crown,
And ride the golden mare.
Whose stare would have me enamoured for a lifetime.
A man so great I would prostrate myself on an altar of “love.”
Devote myself to deities of death and destruction.
Find joy in the cleansing fire of chaos and crumbling brick of derelict foundations.
They never stopped to warn me of false prophets.
Those who never learnt the difference between taking and giving.
Who think no means convince me.
Who take your reluctance for lack of conviction.
They soothe salt-licked wounds at the fire inside of you.
Abuse the privilege of your kindness,
While you learn the mantras of their madness.
Map scar to scar;
Until their songs of sadness,
Become the lullabies that soothe your own neurosis.
You will try to tame them.
Be the eye in the centre of the storm,
Or the milk in their veins.
But you are no antidote
No cleansing liquid
You are nothing but matter but what matters most is you.

So do not worship at the feet of those that kick you down.
Stand upon your ankles and wait for you to stand.
Do not seek comfort from the hands that hurt you.
That stained you black and blue.
Instead rise from the ashes of your grave
To be reborn,
Like leaves burnt bare for the fallen.
Striped back like the bones in shattered ribcages,
Air torn straight from the lungs,
Drowning on dry land.
Because you are not weak for needing trigger warnings.
Not damaged.
Not broken.
Not used.
Not a victim.

You do not stay for the ones who love you,
If you no longer love yourself.


Nikki Marrone is a poet, photographer, artist and traveller. When she’s not wandering around the world documenting her adventures, she splits her time between performing, running events and workshop leading. She is the winner of multiple Poetry Slams and has featured at various spoken word nights and festivals around the world.  Her work has taken her to some amazing places and she has been involved in some great projects.