When I Couldn’t

As I lay there, surrounded by the warm waters poured over my body,
And the cool white walls of the bathroom,
I’m given a moment with myself.

A time when silence fills the room but is absent from my mind.
A time when it seems I’m the only friend of mine.
A time when the thought at the forefront becomes so loud and demanding that I cannot help but answer it.

I lay there, staring at my bare body, watching the rise and fall of my chest,
With each new beginning of breath.
And I can’t help but hear it:
I hate you.

Every thought screams that I am damaged,
The very voice in my head calls to me;
You are a victim.

I watch as the water flows over my stomach, lapping against my sides
And I can’t help but to see his hands.
Unloving.
They leave burns across my skin, to think of any time I let them in.
I see the look in his eyes and the pride across his face.
I hear his voice in any moment self-loves tries to show me her grace

I feel him in any touch of a man.

I recognise the pain constricting this beating heart as my own,
But I cannot see the woman who once called this body home.
I’m begging to be called only by my name;
Baby, Sweetheart, Bitch
I’m begging to look into my heart and feel more than just shame.

I am begging for the freedom to see my body as my own,
To bring this woman back to her home.

I’m begging to be able to love myself without feeling like I shouldn’t
I’m begging to free myself from the blame
When I couldn’t.

Cover by Joshua Rawson-Harris