His fingers twist into my mind,
crushing my courage into splinters of tin.
He calls me feeble as I weep and choke.
I tumble into the pitch.
Falling through tendrils of despair,
he grabs my feet and
pulls me under jagged waves,
a rage of teeth slicing
through my papery shell.
Voices erupt in a frenzy that crashes
into walls slathered in misery.
He turns my fingertips to ash
and batters my bones,
until the ache is unbearable.
I unravel in his palm, a plaything
for him to mock and cajole.
He locks the doors with dead bolts
and tears out my peach pit heart.
His grasp is ruthless and breaks
me into fragments of hopelessness
that sink through cracks in the floor.
I scramble to gather the pieces
and build a fortress to strangle
the embers of self-loathing.
Thoughts of escape are threads
that snag and pull on my skin.
A sprig of light trickles onto
my tongue and I close my mouth
around the possibility of hope.
I writhe and kick through
shattering anguish, climb out of the
dark throat of depression
and bare my shoulders to the sun.
Susan Richardson is living, writing and going blind in Hollywood. She was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in 2002 and much of her work focuses on her relationship to the world as a partially sighted woman. In addition to poetry and short-fiction, she writes a blog called Stories from the Edge of Blindness.
COPYRIGHT 2017 LITERARY JUICE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Photography by Jim Zola.