untitled by Janae van De Kerk


Once a refuge, now a trap,
walls pushed threateningly closer,
less space, less room, less breath,
and the hand grips the heart tighter.

A place of belonging, a safe place no more,
the mysterious "they" and the lone "I,"
whisperings, rumors, lies,
and the hand grips the heart tighter.

Feelings run high, fears run rampant,
actions never changing despite the cries,
intimidating, invalidating, violating,
and the hand grips the heart tighter.

The voice of authority, the voice of power,
assigns the fault to me,
something wrong, something broken, something bad,
and the hand grips the heart tighter.