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Still Here

Behind the walls of a beautiful smile and tired eyes

Small hips but bruised thighs

Lies the truth of a girl who still blames herself

A recurring film of a story I never thought I’d star in

I’ve been writing bullshit, unfinished poems and telling stories unrelated to me

Forgetting that before you can fly you must first be set free

They say the truth can do that for you

But they also say it hurts

After years and years, I found myself unable to move on

Words thrown at me that hurt worse than sticks and stones

Hatred from those I should have known I couldn’t depend on

The shit really hit the fan and so did my sanity

A toxic mixture of depression and embarrassment filled my veins

Sipped from a glass cup’s rim dusted in salt crystals with the unfamiliar taste of shame

The aftertaste alone was enough to kill the weak

But I’m still here

You know the conscience has a funny way of reminding you that you’re still a fuck up

A brisk jog down memory lane in hopes that the past demons won’t catch me

Arrest me

Bound me to the hell that is my own mind

In constant contemplation over what I would do with the opportunity to just rewind

Press pause

And with a vengeful spirit get even with those who were more than unkind Undo the doings of those of which are already done

Put those more deserving under the gun

And poke fun

At their misfortune as they cry for help

And when words are muttered through the snot and tears that kind of sound like “no” or “stop” choke the sounds away so that I can claim consent Kind of like what they did to me

Make them realize what it feels like to have your body contorted and manipulated in ways that are unrecognizable to you

Document the pain for others to view

But I would never wish what’s been done to me on my worst enemy

As fear, rage, and confusion entered my body

Self-respect escaped in the same breath

But I think I’ve since reclaimed it

I’ve never admitted to being raped and to a listening ear

I technically still haven’t

Avoiding the painful truth for me I guess is just a habit I know I stand here today appearing weak

But I want you to know that my sanity, you don’t have it I know that my

God is a good one and I have enough peace to share with the room

Just knowing that

He is with me on this walk is enough for my life to resume I once lived in fear

But I’m still here

And you could never have that much control over me again

I’ve now learned the difference between a foe and a friend

I’m still here and I ain’t going nowhere

A piece of my story I never thought I’d be able to share

But this is just a letter addressed to you I could never hate another human being

And to be honest, I wouldn’t want to give you the satisfaction

So, I really do wish you the best I know that once upon a time

I cowered to you in fear

But whether you care or not I just want you to know that

I’m still standing

I’m still here.

Ⓒ Darryl Hollinshed 2022 All Rights Reserved


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