Dark Truth – a poem by Cristina Dominguez

I’m sleeping with the light on tonight
because there is a possibility of vulnerability,
A chance that I might
be haunted by the moment in my memory
where you caught me
between baby and young lady,
where you persuaded
and invaded
my privacy and vibrancy

You made me
give up my innocence
so you would play with me;
Pretending to know adult affection
just to gain your attention,
in fact it was a mere reflection
of what they show on TV.
Tuned out,
you pretended not to see me
I pretended not to be me–
where was your protection?

Now I write up a storm
to collect the debris
left from the memories
I try to forget,
from the secret I kept
to not see you publicly scorned
as I privately mourned
the death of the little girl
I buried in the place where I hid,
from you
from view
from what we did…

You ignored
how sore
you made my spirit.
You’d deny
You’d never hear it.
You call
I fall for it every time
like a nursery rhyme
or a lullaby.
Only this time,
I’ve learned that
all the king’s horses
and all the king’s men
only put us back together again
to break us in the end

Only I never fall asleep
not weeping,
I’m never spared
or prepared
to re-live
the nightmare
I shared with

22 years too late
three months after I leave,
No apology to date
and No reprieve,
Always something more you need
but I’m no giving tree
fruitless, rootless, call me ruthless.
I have no reservations
in being dedicated to the preservation
of the little girl still alive,
the one I revived not long ago.
I’ve recovered
and uncovered
the ways
you subjected me to
disrespect, rejection, and neglect,
a little girl
should never know

Aware but
not where
I can forgive
without apology;
without making you
raise your eyes
to see me
to meet me
the woman matured
out of what she
should have never had
to endure.
To see uncensored
how your venture
into masculinity,
your innocent, unintentional,
blameless curiosity
staked a claim
shamed and maimed
the terrain,
of my girlhood

The pain comes and goes,
lessens and grows,
the scars and bruises
sometimes show.
But I’ve survived
the red glare
of that nightmare
that I’ve lived

I let go of the light
fighting my body’s attempt to take flight
open my eyes and give
wrap myself in
what I was forced to find within
in the heart, that shelters her still
in the will that overcomes

I submit to the sharpness
of living
of feeling
of seeing
the ugly
that needs to be seen,
the scenes that make me cry,
where there is no insight in hindsight,
where purity of pain never lies–
but lies beside me
where peace is the instant when
sleep has forgiven me
gets up from the living room
comes to bed
and finally,
comforts me

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