There are times I am the mighty stranger reaching through the darkness
Atremble with memories living in every sinew
Culmination of a thousand pauses, a thousand thousand times that hurt followed in that dark
For years we called them demons
Parroted popular advice to love them, let them be your friend
As though it were wisdom to demonize that which saved us
Who befriends such ugliness as the things I call myself, the words for Amy which live in my heart, which I have carved into my very skin seeking only to get them outside of me for just a moment
To hurt in a way that wasn’t so damn painful
This is the Amy I know, beloved, she protected me
Alone there in the dark

There are times I am the mighty stranger
And in that might ravaging that which I thought only to value, to protect
From those in the dark who were not really strangers
I wake to it, a visceral alienation of self
In those moments my hands are not my own, the caress of my own skin frightening
In its gentleness
As though some part of me has stirred, stretched out in that darkness
Embodied myself within me, the ultimate danger, but so dispossesed, so disenfranchised of my only true sovereignty
That the tenderness of that touch undoes me, cracked asunder in ways final, fraught
Permeated with that swallowing darkness
Replete now, I can hear it in the brush of fingers on eyelids, on the fragile skin of throat and lip from which it arises
Cradled there in compassion
Hands cupped around cheeks, so gently, sustained now in the hope
Of a voice in the silenced places

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