A taxidermist, he fills my body
With stiffening thoughts
To keep me from running away.

“You’re an exhibitionist,”
he says
As I lead him through the hallowed hallways of my history.
He walks, heavy-footed
Leaving dirty footprints on my timeline
While trespassing over my topography.
He had the pleasure of learning my metaphysical maps
Running his hands over my body
As he left his marks upon me
Gratifying himself as he gouged his influence
Into my geography.
He emptied my body of its precious contents
Leaving me as an empty shell.
A taxidermist, he fills my body
With stiffening thoughts
To keep me from running away.
He became the archaeologist of my body’s ruins
Picking out the pieces he preferred
From the rubble of a shattered skeleton
He collects the remnants of a crumpled conscience
And stuffs them in his pocket.
He puts me on display for the world to see
On a pedestal of projected perfection
In a suffocating, shiny glass box
His treasure, a torn, tattered girl exhibited
For everyone to awe over
If only I could have been the curator of my own gallery
Or excavated any inkling of independence
From the debris of his devastation
If only my countenance could have read, as a placard:
“Look but DO NOT TOUCH.”

 


Caralyn Roeper is originally from Long Island, NY. She is currently a sophomore at Lehigh University. She is pursuing an English degree is conjunction with an undecided double major. She is known by some as “the human sunflower” for her ability to radiate positive energy and bring light to the lives of those around her. She loves making people smile, art, and of course poetry! As a survivor herself, she actively facilitates programs about Sexual Assault and Gender Violence through her campus’ Break the Silence Peer Educators Program. Her goals include becoming a published author, poet, song writer, model, and artist (being a teacher is the backup plan).

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>