Another Poem About Trauma By kmp

Another Poem About Trauma

there is a truck in my neighborhood that should not be there
and when i see it i taste the same salt lot’s wife once knew;
the two of us know what it is to petrify, to refuse to move on,
to become obsessed with the signifiers of loss like picking
at a scab until it scars deeply

i am twenty-one this month and i am intoxicated on the air
pouring in through my car windows; i have seen the earth
stretched out beneath me pinched clay & shadow, and i have
stood by the stove rusting in my driveway and heard the steady
patter of rain without a single drop touching my skin and now
autumn approaches and i foresee a time when i can breathe again

but i do not know how to tell the people i love that i am better but
still want to die, still long for death as one longs for someone who
can never love them back: wholeheartedly,
and there is a truck in my neighborhood that was gone two years
but has returned and when i drive past it i think of who i was at
nineteen that i let the man who drove it tell the boy who called
me fag how the two of them were nicer than me because i didn’t
like being the subject of rape jokes //
how he hoped i’d loosen up when i started drinking //
how he kept trying to get my seventeen year old sister alone //
how he helped someone get away with a sexual assault //
how all my friends are still friends with him on facebook //
how i do not know if i am right to be mad or if i am too
heavily affected by the time i was twelve at a summer camp where the only girl i knew told me i’d get in trouble if i didn’t shower with her & said it was okay for her to put her hand down my pj pants when i said i didn’t like it

we threw three eggs at the truck but it did not ease the bitterness,
did not rinse the salt from my skin or remove the chips of stone
from my heart. i have not always been bitter this way but i am
so full of anger & i do not know how to let it go.

By kmp


kmp is a southern californian poet and an undergraduate student double majoring in comparative literature and anthropology and double minoring in gender and sexuality studies and archaeology. their work has previously been published in The Wall, Neon Anteater Renaissance, New Forum, Rising Phoenix Review, L’Éphémère Review: Issue IV, Disquietude, and Werkloos Mag: “In Limbo”, as well as on their blog

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