In what way does the room map out violence?
Internal weather rain pings like nails on cement.
I pulled weeds with my ungloved hand,
tore them whole from the ground.
The dark expanded like a shadow.
The sky pressed down
in a sheet of obsidian.
How I imagine an un-punctured universe—
We begin whole then slowly deflate.
After the break-up,
I feel pitted, but too full of him.
Drove past the windy bluffs of Los Angeles.
The sagebrush seemed anchored to the cliffs.
Rain, an emotion skidding.
I watched a seagull dip into the water
and rise shimmering.
Doc, I felt him ebb in the endless summer.
I want a self-actualized
kind of weather
The plate glass window was cold against my forehead.
I don’t recall being sick.
His hand brushed against my breasts
as I passed in the hall.
I was ten, eleven.
The body’s disorderly circuitry.
The page flipped, and I saw a picture of myself with a swollen eye.
It was a dream,
which signifies what.
His thumb was crooked—double-jointed rather, and it hurt—
Minus pleasure, what we experienced was, on one hand, a kind of rape—
There is no other hand but the one he used to palm my stomach—
Except with him, I wasn’t there—I was a border, and he crossed—
I filled up with fog in the summer heat—
His eyes were cool and lanced right through me.
Copyright © Cathy Linh Che, from her book Split. Permission was granted from: Alice James Books, www.alicejamesbooks.org.
I picked this poem because it's badass. I picked it as a testament to all the women who will never have a magazine cover devoted to them to acknowledge the predatory practice of rape.