There are some things the body never forgets. The sound of my cell phone splintering against the dorm room wall. How my feet felt cool against the cinderblocks moments before it hit, that breaking I felt in my own chest because I thought I could save myself from him.
Those cinderblocks are never clean in my memory. A handprint in blood smears across three, after we wake up the night after carnage, I mean carnal, relations and my body is fetal away from him, oceans of space between two bodies in a dorm size bed.
“Good morning beautiful,” and he smiled that lazy grin I’d get lost in.
If I don’t look in his eyes, I won’t be ensnared.
Valentine’s Day. He sent me a black and white photograph of a heart-shaped ring of stones. “I took this for you,” he said. Only later, I found out it was part of a class project and this was the photographic outtake, the shot with no clear blacks or whites, uneven borders, textbook darkroom failure.
My own photography class taught me what my heart didn’t want to see: Nothing was ever for me.
“You’re sick,” he screamed, moments before my phone hit the wall. “You’re a sick, fucked up slut and I don’t know why I even date you.”
If the tears coursing down my cheeks made sounds, they’d be wimpers, not screams.
I hadn’t found my voice for him. My neck still remembers his hands around my throat, warm where his fingers hit veins. I pulsed for him, in ways my body remembers every time a new man touches me there.
Touches me anywhere. The body remembers what the mind works hard to forget.