I have calligraphied crib notes
adorning my arm
like a scripted tattoo.
Ink has always found a way
through my bloodstream,
inching its way through my veins.
I used to scribble unvarnished truths.
(“A girl like me is God’s reject-
she deserves Hell.
Wings smoldering in the flames.)
Language that became the dialect
(The patois of pain.)
A flood of anger.
A deluge of emotion.
Words razored into memory.
I learned to speak the language of poets.
Every feeling was a cipher
(translated into code).
The code was similes and metaphors.
(“My stained glass heart shatters
when he takes what is mine
and violates it.
Like filling voids-
the empty even I didn’t know I had.”)
How do you articulate words that have been carved into you
longer than you have been alive?
How do you say what has been emblazoned in your eyes
since you stopped resisting what you could be?
(I want to stop looking at the smudged lettering
tattooed on my skin
and speak my mind.
Shout my sins from the window sills.)
How do I tell you the profanities
that have proven themselves to be a weapon
are the very tools I need in which to survive?