She Got Off

a poem by Latoshia Jessup

And I wish I could say riding that wave was similar to the way
the sun hugs chilled skin. Unaware; because black bruises

blacker and blue hues are not easily visible. She was dis-
missed gently as if landing blows found her bright skin and

my flesh clung to her when the caress was pulled away she
was cocooned within my arms and I would have waited
a lifetime to watch her wings carry her to new heights, but
beating against her sympathizer showed she was unwilling
to build together. And it is hard to watch a serpent’s head
sway delicately and entangle thought processes that cause
looks of disgust to appear under the shade of my hooded
eye that was at one point understanding and forgiving; but is
now a knife I removed from my own back and I didn’t throw
it her direction, though it would have been warranted. A knife
I knew would have been used to sever my rope from society
had I even taken a step her way while clasping the handle.
My frustration landed in the drywall but they claimed that was
her temple therefore condemning me with titles other than my
signature. I’ll admit my fist should have softened into prayer
hands, but she got off and they still call her by her name while
another set of hands continue to abuse all that I am and that
doesn’t matter because of the tag she gave me with society’s
help.

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