To: Future,

I cared deeply.
For the first

Perpetrator.

My mom had told me about the dignity of bodies
but this was family.

He was an achievement
to be celebrated.
He was a role model
to be emulated.

No, I am not reminiscing
his glory.

I am re-living
an empathy,

for not speaking up
for shutting down
for not believing that a maternal instinct would have picked up a distress
call

And there was a second
non-so-much-as-trustworthy
he didn’t

penetrate my soul but the scars
the lines, boundaries that
were drawn

No, I am not victimising myself
or his “accident”

I am emphasising
a narrative,

for not speaking up
for not sleeping enough

for kittens purring to me
while
i keep apologising

for not being strong
for not letting go
because your body is your shell and when you
let them paint it as they like as they splash free paint causing permanent residues like

graffitis and you hate that mural painting

and i try to become more sexualised and i hurt people with the house i
keep moving into, throwing away the ones i
grew into

they don’t understand.

why did you have to move

can’t tell them it was vietnam
and afganistan
then it was mosul

or next, or next, or next,
your loved ones.

it is not their faults
a plundered house
my dad’s crumpled faith in my
hands

I’ve sought out homes in pastors
their daughters
but the houses were too large
for the closet that is my heart.

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