WRITER & VISUAL ARTIST
By Jenn Powers
Previously Published in Linden Ave Lit Journal, October 2012
Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women, April 2016, Kasva Press, Israel
I want to thank you for your smile like a fishing lure, for the flowers with razor sharp thorns. I want to thank you for your honeyed poetry and promises, for the ring that didn’t shine and for losing yours. I want to thank you for the bitterness and the way I can’t believe in certain things, for the purple welts you left on my skin and the broken dishes and bent silverware. I want to thank you for the miscarriages and the blood and newfound freedom, for hardening the knot in my throat and slicing up morality like one of your expensive steaks. I want to thank you for the tears I couldn’t swallow and for the tears that wouldn’t flow, for biting my lips and erasing my words. I want to thank you for teaching me how to lie, for the prescription drugs and bottles of alcohol that littered my secret dwelling. I want to thank you for the sound of shattered glass and the way my skin smelled like cigarette ashes from your hands. I want to thank you for the ulcers and headaches and twitches and diseases, for speeding off in your car and leaving marks of burnt rubber like black mambas. I want to thank you for abandoning me, and for coming back to tell me I’m not good enough. I want to thank you for thinking I’d never amount to anything, and for loving everyone else instead. I want to thank you for the mask you wore and I want to thank you for mine, for the stitches and bandages without apologies. I want to thank you for the emergency room bills and the way I felt your razor sharp thorns wrap around my wrists, neck and feet, for the way your eyes overflowed with contempt and heat. I want to thank you for butchering my wisdom, for letting me wait alone at tables to eat, for portraying the rotten food and dirty rooms and stained bed sheets as clean, for punching holes in the walls and leaving drips of blood on the floor, for the way the ground pressed into my bare knees while praying, for letting go of my hand and walking out, for coming back, for teaching me. Teaching me! I want to thank you for teaching me the brutality of you, for preparing me for other monstrosities, for cutting off my eyelids and baring your teeth, for the way I now can see and how I feel something like the ocean clean my wounded head and bleeding feet, for making me see. I want to thank you for my freedom. I want to thank you for making me arrive at me.