“Click here to escape this site immediately.”
The button brings back the unthinkable
and what I need is the forgetting.
I am on a site I visited years ago
when this was the secret country
I traveled to in the brief moment between my waking
as the tea steeped and the sun rose and everything
conspired to hide the truth.
I held onto hope as if it were a passport
sewn into some hidden lining
that would let me cross the border from there to here.
But as I look at the bright red button now,
and think of the others who must
use it at the first footfall
there is no quick exit really,
no leaving the scene of the crime
Even if your mind wills you to leave it all behind
your body remembers.
In some deep part of you every hard word
just beyond the safety you think you have,
tea steeping, sun rising, memory is
not a quiet door opening
but a slam that repeats
making everything smaller
till you are once more in a narrow room
where no one can hear you.
But you can find your way out.
Like a blind man who remembers
where a wall ends,
where a corner turns,
and how many steps it takes to get back to where you were,
you let some deeper sense of what you do not think you know but do
You find the exit
because you have found it before,
not by memory that hurts
but a remembering that helps you
slam the last door yourself.
If you are in danger call 911, or reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or the NW Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian, and Gay Survivors of Abuse at 1-206-568-7777.
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