My neck’s grown tired of always
holding up all the darkness in my head
but I am accustomed to backstroking
against this current; the absentminded
muscles I’ve developed tell me so.
Once I was a baby,
once I didn’t know the ache of unhappiness
but only the forgettable way my small mouth
formed words no one understood.
When I turned into a woman
my heart went all soot and damp earth.
People made it so. The ones I chose to love in fact.
Each unhinged my ribcage and stuffed it with warm deceit.
I’m a modern day Medusa
stuck staring at unwell-adjusted me,
busy chiseling the corners of my mouth
into the slightest of smiles.