Flashback by Abigail Hurst

I smelled you,
And I knew you were coming for me,
About to drag me under-
To that place where I can’t breathe
Stumbled out, away from the crowd
So that no one would see…
What you still do to me.

And you drug me back in time
Making me deaf, forcing me blind
Until the world of safety is gone
And I’m once again desire’s pawn
Filled with guilt, and grief, and shame,
And a pain that only knows one name-
You.

You.
Spreading my legs apart.

You.
Eyes gleaming, smile sliding on your face in the dark.

You.
Lowering your head.

You.
With your forehead on my stomach
As I claw the sheets on the bed

And fight back a scream
And you’re killing me.

You.
Biting where no one would think to look.

You.
Rifling through my pages like an open book.

You.
Trace your finger from my neck below
Like you’re slicing me open.

You.
Shattering me.
Till there’s nothing left to be broken.

And this waking nightmare
So much more vivid than any dream I’ve had.

Chocking on your poison
Till I gag, convulse, and rip this dream at it’s seams.

Shaking as I pick up this shovel,
To dig furiously as my panic doubles-
Slam the casket shut with a bang
And bury you back where you belong
Six feet under ground in your grave.

And I hold my breath and count.
Just like I always have,
Till the memory of you trickles out of me-
Down through the floor,
Dripping through cracks.

One.
Two.
Three.
Hold my breath.
Four.

I hear you slip back out my door.
And leave me to mend all that you’ve torn.

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Sold by Abigail Hurst

I sold myself
I sold my body
I.
I sold my soul
Gave the keys to a stranger
Said, “make yourself at home”.

I sold myself
Into grasping hands
I sold my dignity
I sold my legs
Breasts
Feet
Lips
Virginity.
One at a time
I sold away what was mine.

I sold myself
I auctioned off what was left
And just gave away freely
All the rest

But truth be told
I was sold long ago
In what was called a holy home
Sold into hands of power and greed
Stripping away every hope
Every dream
So for a moment he could feel
Satisfied and whole
As he unclothed, exposed me
Right down to the bone.

Split in Two by Abigail Hurst

Don’t talk.
Let this slip through the cracks
And we’ll never look back

Keep it secret.
Every one’s okay
As long as you don’t say..

That you’re split in two
That you’re sick of being used
That you’re bloody and you’re bruised
Tired and abused..

That you’ve been ripped in half
That the mask’s about to crack
That the pressure’s more than you can cap
It’s something no one can take back…

Trap it inside
It’s the right thing to hide
Keep it locked up so no one can find..

And now grow cold
As it goes untold
And stays unseen
As he unravels your seams..
And you are split in two.

So now years pass and you have to choose sides
Live in the light or in darkness abide?
You’re buried deep but have to make a choice
Will you stay silent or finally raise your voice?
For nothing you’ve been sold
And without payment you will be made whole
But you have to lift your voice.

Attempt Breaking Silence by Abigail Hurst

“Can I tell it all to you?
Even just a part to let it out?”
My voice is tinged with hope
You slowly shake your head.
“No.”

I can see the regret in your eyes
As your try to back track
Try to hide

“Don’t worry about it,”
Put back on the mask
“I’m fine.”

I always have been fine…
Okay,
Doing great,
Nothing more to say,
With a smile on my face.

I’m fine
He crawls in bed with me.

I’m okay.
Cornered in the kitchen
Lust in his eyes, lunging toward me

I’m great.
He slides his hand down my thigh
A look I know so well
Silent danger in his eyes.

All of these things and more
Rushing through my mind
I smile and look up at you,
“No really, I’m fine.”

I’ve said it a thousand times before
Feeling the life drain from my eyes
What’s once more?

Master or Slave by Abigail Hurst

Take a deep breath
Just smile
No tears
Step into two roles
Puppet
And puppeteer.

Both master and slave
These parts I play
Pick up the controller
Attached to my strings
And put on a grand display.

I am a manipulator of myself
I separate and detached
Sit up in the rafters
With my heart down on the stage
And with aching arms keep moving
Make sure these strings behave

Arms up.
Arms down.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Smile.
Chit chat.
Side hug.
Wave.
These strings long to tangle,
Am I master or slave?

These cords that make me move
Feel more like a noose
They cut off circulation
And I feel the weight of deprivation

Can I cut these strings?
Slip off this stage?
And attend to this inner war
I wage?

Take a deep breath.

Longcase Clock by Abigail Hurst

Longcase Clock
Ticks-Tocks
One.
Two.
Three.
Four.
I hear you slip through my door.

Focus on Counting.
Seven.
Eight.
The darkness begs you,
“Seal her fate”

Breathing labors.
Twelve.
Thirteen.
Trapped under covers.
Strangled in sheets.

Fifty-eight.
Fifty-nine.
Begin to lose…
Track of time.

Sixty.
One minute down.
A tear struggles free.

One.
Two.
Hold my breath.
Three.
You rip into me.

Set Free by Abigail Hurst

I’ve tried to fly so many times
Shackled to the ground
Chains rattle as I pace
How I’ve learned to live is a disgrace

I get a running start to soar
And leap so high from the earth
Too quickly reminded of how I am tethered
And how my soul has become so weathered

These shackles that have no key
Attached to my wrists, to my neck and my feet
Spider away from my body
One lock linked to another chain
And each branded with a name

Abuse, self injury, nightmares, rape
Against my wrists the metal scrapes
Harlot, worthless, disappointment, regret
Four more names that you’ll never forget
Into my ankles the bonds dig deep
The lock around my neck
Bears one burden under which the others fall
The suffocating, all consuming, heavy weight
Of shame.

The sin of what you did,
Now my job to hide
To bottle it up, with a strong, tight lid
So no one will ever find,
Covering shackles and chains
With beautiful scarves and gloves
A little make-up for the face
Learn to sit pretty,
Draw no attention to what holds me still,
And meet weekly with my self blame committee…

But in the night, when no one can see
I gather my shackles and set my mind free,
To imagine a world that sees the pain,
And reverses the words that have been engraved.
To imagine an earth wear my chains are seen,
Where I am seen.
This disillusionment I crave,
And with anguish I pray,
That my voice will pierce through the noise,
And I will be heard.