Tuesday, September 30, 2014

today a professor stood in front of me, pursed his lips and told my class that 
self injury is attention seeking behavior
he says this without malice, without judgement
with certainty-
"immediately report to your supervisor"
he is calm, he is explaining, they are rapt with attention and it is unearthly to me, 
it is terrifying to see someone you respect 
speak 
about you in clinical terms as if you are an unfortunate by-product of hyperbolic human desperation, 
"suicidal inclinations"
i stare at him, mouth open, try with every ounce of myself to 
transmit the pain, to force my experiences inside of his chest until they
bruise and bleed and stop his fucking
voice. 
i want to stand up;

"Sir, i once had an alter made of dried towels and flimsy razors that i 
slid under my bed in a cardboard box, Sir, i am covered 
in old scriptures that you couldn't begin to read
in our tongue, you should not speak 
of languages you will never learn. Sir, 
i worshipped on myself, 
i sacrificed skin to those same Gods of Overreaction with one prayer on my lips- 
to never be found-
i hid in the temples so they could not stop my prayers, Sir
i stood naked while they strip searched me for religion.
so please,
do not tell me that i meant to do anything other than hurt myself
when i hurt myself."

but i 
say nothing
after all,
i don't want to draw 
too much attention.

2 comments:

S. said...

I have so many feelings while reading this.Those last lines ripped through me with so much force. Thank you for writing.

You inspire me in so many ways.

Cheryl said...

This is so poetic and beautiful and eloquent, I've read it three times already. "Sir, I am covered in old scriptures that you couldn't begin to read in our tongue" - ohhhhhhhhh. Pure loveliness. And I think sometimes it just matters that the words have been released, not how or when. You've released them beautifully here, like birds, like words made of smoke or breath.

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