I see faces
a carousel round,
Notions of you
of her
of him.

Haunting me
down a street
of fleeting stars,
I see you in
the shadows,
In my peripheral,
You’re at the bottom
of my heel,
Inching closer with
this step,
Sliding away
with my next.

You used to taunt,
Used to make me cry,
I hadn’t known sleep,
I barely know sleep
a peaceful rest.

I remember you dancing,
You would frolic
in my shadows,
Creeping in
through the almirah.

I walked slow
I kept quiet
didn’t stir,
Never wanting to upset
to rattle.

Paralyzing nerves,
How did I find you,
What made you visit,
You were
uninvited unwelcome.

All but subtle,
Shaking my bones
gripped so tight,
Much too young,
Far too scared
to make you leave.

Letting your rust
spread along my skin,
Now sunken down into my bones
I’ve habituated.

The same filth
the unknown have known,
They do know
we know,
Looking up at a familiar sky
treading the same earth
counting the same stars,
All victims of one.

Unsolicited privilege,
Allowance never committed,
Had I the power
no longer would I suffer,
Landing with force
with rage,
This time out in the open,
No longer are you hiding
in your shadow
in my shadow.

Now you’re in my mirror
I see your staring back,
Smiling when I am,
Crying my tears
feeling when I do.

Leaving me dry
leaving me outside,
May I come in
do I get to come in,
Don’t let fear in
as fear lets you out.


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