i. The day it first came out from my chest and
crawled into my breakfast cereal,
I burned the kitchen table in the back yard
and asked the ashes to keep my
shame safe. I asked them back inside,
offered them a place on the mantle,
gave them a burial ground
and a kindly shaped, but inornate urn.
They did not answer, and they did not stay.
The arms of the wind were just too strong.
Nothing wants to stay inside of something
that has made its skin fragile.
Here is the story: a girl’s body is taken from her, once, and she buries herself.
Then, the next day, goes back to elementary school
does badly on a timed math test
is told she is falling behind.
The sound of it is too ugly to hold,
for it is heavy like
opening your eyes
after thinking yourself to be dead –
it holds more than it claims to.
She does not let fingers
brush her hair out of her eyes
until she is nineteen.
She keeps herself buried
on the mantle
in plain sight,
but smothered nonetheless. H
Her inability to speak it: a decoration.
ii. On an August evening, alone in the sticky
heat of heavy sheets, I found it, again, coming from
I took my hands away from my body
I held myself down
I closed my eyes until it had gone.
It is easier to tell our stories as fiction,
as “her” and not “I.”
Good words make grotesque things easier to
hold, like newborn children, against your chest.
Again, something is left to be found underneath
the bed, but it does not hide.
It lets its body roam.
It resurrects itself
inside of my chest (inside of her chest) until
I am made of it
(until she is made of it)
until it is all I can breathe in
(she can no longer breathe in)
until the ceiling is a melody from back before
I knew how to calm myself down in public
(she never learned how to best calm herself down in public)
until I am whole inside of its jaws,
(until she is nearly consumed, hungry teeth pin-pricking her sides)
wound tight like it is waiting,
like blood deserves more time to be earned.
Like (we are) only what (we come) to be
when chewed down.
It knows patience.
It is easier to tell these things
iii. When, for the third time, it appeared,
its hands reaching from inside my throat
like a drowning thing to its mother,
I helped it home.
Gave it a bed.
It was not one to speak,
but its large eyes watched,
deep as they could go,
and its hands,
So similar to the girl it came from.
So similar to the way looking in the mirror
must feel for those who know what to expect, looking back.
This is the story:
it is easier to let a familiar thing
if you do not have to
explain, to its sad eyes,
why you have kept it buried.
The heart is so much lighter
without the mouthless thing
clinging to it,
begging to be held
but being incapable of forming the words to ask.
All things born of your skin,
(born of her skin, born of our skin,)
deserve to be held
like they were not made from
the violent compulsions of something
made from urge.
Unlike how the ocean
is made from urge.
pieces of the
How can you learn
yourself if you cannot
answer them when they
That place that rests
below your chest,
that place with chains and
empty hallways and dishes left
undone and sheets left unwashed:
that place bears your
name, and left untended,
will only come to know itself
as the body of your sadnesses.
No piece of you is ugly
so long as you
give it your heart.
No piece of me is ugly. I am learning not to tell
myself in fiction.
I am learning that no piece
of this story
deserves to be given its mouth,
full to the brim,
Emma Bleker is a 20 year old poet working for her English degree in Virginia while attempting to live a true and convincing life. She has previously been published, or is forthcoming, in Electric Cereal, Cahoodaloodaling, Skylark Review, and Yellow Chair Review. Her first collection of poetry, Here’s Hoping You Never See This, was published in November of 2015. You can find more of her work on Facebook at Facebook.com/EmmaBlekerWriter or on Tumblr at stolenwine.tumblr.com.