By: L. T. 

You taught me to hate you
And before you say you didn’t mean to
Know that my teaching class has taught me that children cannot learn
Unless you sew the lesson into the creases of their brain
With repetition repetition repetition as the needle and thread
Until they spit it out without thought and they stop trying to pull out the stitches
And I didn’t expect to learn you so easily
But every time I doubt your malignity
You give me another lesson
And I have forgotten all else
Before you think I was looking to learn such lessons
That I heard what I wanted
I never wanted this
But you are my fourth teacher
And I am an unwilling pupil
You slap my wrist with rulers and use them to measure me
I fall short every time so I stretch myself out to satisfy
I wanted to be big enough for you
So I spread myself out like butter
Stretched until I broke
Why do I forget your lessons with every new teacher?

You sewed yourself inside of me
When I tore you out you tried to crawl yourself back into open wounds
When you leave my blood is haunted with the memory of you
I wonder what it would be like to stop reminding myself who I belong to
Identity is like a constant scrubbing of soap and water
Did you mean to write on me in permanent ink

You robbed me of a physical brokenness
You have raped my mind
And I am not one to put crimes on scales
But other people do, and I cannot say that you violated me
But you knew my innermost parts
And even as I cast you out, you return unwanted
You twisted my no’s into yes’s
You took the choice that makes me human
God, who am I anymore?
Am I just a body with fingers to count how many times I remember your name
How many times my heart jumped to my throat at the mention of it
Because I regarded it as holier than my own

I hear your voice from down the hall
The echo sounds like the reverberation of things you said
Old apologies and silent, silent shattering
My trust was a glass window
It stood between you and me,
The toy in the window Mommy would never let you have
I was just a robbery waiting to happen
Wasn’t I