by Sarah Sutherland-Field
I am still burning.
Each breath sets fire to my house of violet flowers.
All I’ve ever known is quiet kept tears.
Thoughts I can only try to
slap, scratch, peel away from tearing skin.
A picture burned into my eyelids,
a show to watch every time I close my eyes.
Deep in my chest, under cracked ribs
is a little girl trying to stop the flames from spreading.
My life ended at the blooming age of seven,
when I was too young to know how the word ‘no’ tastes.
Because how did I ask for it?
In my purple pajamas with precisely four buttons.
What gave her the right to take away my childhood in violet colors.
Gifted paranoia, like a limb I used to choke myself.
Suffocating, until there is no choice but to speak.
To spill rotting guts all over the floor,
and stain the carpet with the truth.
That I have no choice but to tell my mom,
and with the tears of a seven year old,
cry while she holds me.