Celina Adrian

30,212 poems read

"one of many"

when that church man, the deacon
the grown up
touched me
the churchgoer, the child
at the age of 7 and 8 and 9
big bold hands
once turned on a dryer to distort the sounds
of both his pleasure and my pain
or maybe that was his private part that shut my mouth

as with small body to size,
memory, to some extent
learned the art of contortionism

skillfully manipulating
a way to cope

trickery, as anger always found a way to live beyond
the dimples and smile

never hated God, the good gospel
and gospel music moved me
even when he unearthed me
nope, never God
even when the deacon would follow me to the church bathroom

church benches that sat hypocrisy
alongside bibles and hymnals, sunday after sunday
never faired too well with me
not when I started holding my pee

we welcome all of God's children

rewind memory to the laundry room of his home
then fast forward to the picnic at stone mountain
where deacon man
was rock hard
taking small body, unable to swim back then,
out to deep waters
one head bob then two times and again
water choked the throat of small body
as a reminder to keep church man praising his holy name
amen he said
hallelujah and amen
but I was quiet

loud tears

memories rewind to age 7 again where
afterschool care was not care
when sick school boy makes me suck his lil self off
off and off 
and then off to that time at 21 when rape gave no warning
and back to age 10 when she stuck one hand inside of small body
and the other over my mouth

loud tears, again
they can't quiet the loudness of these pages
where I return myself back to myself
and away from painful memories

if there lives a desirous need
to package
my sexuality or spiritual existence
tag and label it in a box called
I am still here

within these four walls of once shame by way of harm 
I have actually abandoned hate, altogether
remaining intact
pain has to do these sorts of mental manipulations 
in order to justify waking up to coded memories

many days, I have almost not woken up

choosing now to exist and awaken safely
in my own meditative yet safely shared space
that can longer be violated
nativigating in a bigger world
knowing now
that I am not alone
sadly there are plenty, many of us

we are here
lots of us, in droves
learning to drive past trauma

living breathing remaining
to each other
to what will unfortunately
be known as the next batch
of survivors