He asked me why I had stayed,
and I replied “Because I didn’t know where else to go.”
Dysfunction became my home and I opened its door to men that didn’t wipe their feet before they entered.
I gave thieves a spare key and told them they could steal my joy,
as my enemies had a free-for-all,
watching from my window.
I was burdened so heavily that shackles chained themselves to my soul.
My bed was my only hiding place,
and I wore its sheets like clothes.
I didn’t dare look in the mirror.
I didn’t want to see mascara smeared across my swollen cheeks.
I didn’t want to see red streaks in my eyes and dark circles engraving themselves onto my porcelain skin.
I have died and resided in Hell on Earth,
basking beneath a canopy woven with threads of devastation, and all of the despair that they bring.
You saw me, before it all:
Standing on top of that mountain with open eyes and endless pride.
You saw me,
fall from its peak and land on concrete where
my bones went from symbolizing staples of strength,
to fragments that turned into soil, but still couldn’t cause a flower to grow.
as the blood from my beating heart seeped into the cracks,
and watered the dry surface with sorrow.
You prayed for my demise.
You so desperately wanted me to stay at ground zero,
because me at my worst, meant you at your best.
You thought rock bottom was my permanent position,
not understanding that life is a ladder that God has molded me to climb.
Everything is temporary;
my darkest days included.
So don’t try to know me now.
Poet: Stefanie Parrott