Portrait of Trauma as an Ocean
The jellyfish stings//
Even after it’s dead.
Maybe that’s why
I’m still scared to test the waters.
Like sharks // pre-teen girls can smell blood from miles away,
Middle school was an ocean and I was lost at sea,
Words were the sharp rocks I cut myself on,
Cradled in the arms of a riptide,
Then thrown against the rocks
With the same pair of hands--
I don’t want your lifesaver.
Because where I’m from,
A helping hand is always followed by a smack in the face.
In my language, ‘kindness,’ and ‘run,’ are pronounced the same way.
An iridescent glow like the moon
Is followed by a sting or a bite--
‘Let go of the past,’ sounds like a threat.
Get over it, or I’ll throw you to the sharks.
Get over it, or I’ll become the waves you spent years fighting against.
Get over it, or you’ll spend the rest of your life stinging--
How dare you allow yourself to suffocate at the hands of a corpse.
Don’t you understand
it was never about how much the words stung.
You ask why I’m stuck in the past,
Why I am allowing myself to suffocate at the hands of a corpse--
It’s because of
Every bystander who walked along the shore
And saw my blood stain the ocean,
Turned the other way.
Did I whimper? Did I stutter?
Did they not hear me?
Because while I was being ripped to shreds,
they did nothing.
No wonder I’m so afraid,
When I grew up believing I was prey.
Luna Moore is a teenage girl living in Southern California
When she's not writing, she enjoys drawing, playing guitar,
and debating about anything and everything.