under flickering yellow light

by Charlotte Amelia

burn it all to
the fucking ground
and start again
with what is left

paint your face
with the ashes
of who you used to be
and bare your teeth
against the dark

when you feel
the snap of bone breaking
under your closed fist
remember they did this to you
smile because they wanted a monster

and you fucking gave them one

blood doesn’t look black in the moonlight
it gleams crimson
and there’s no shame in looking twice
because it’s beautiful to behold

and when you wash it from your knuckles
in the sink
of some all night gas station
and it turns the water pink

and when you catch a glimpse of yourself
in the mirror under flickering yellow light
invisible scars pulsing under your skin
bite at chapped lips
and try to believe that you recognise the reflection
veteran of a thousand wars
hollowed out daily
until all that remained was some mercenary creature
feral grin and wild eyes
remember that this is how they moulded you
some half crazed thing
not scared any more

you are a reckoning

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