(Will be the undoing of us all someday…)


She stands quietly before her bedroom mirror
And cannot recognize the girl in the glass
That stares neutrally back at her.
There's a hard look and a permanent scowl,
And she asks herself, almost alarmed,
'What must everyone else wonder?'

Her eyes, as blue as the winter's purest ice,
Stare; cold and largely without seeing;
There are shadows lurking in those cold depths:
Ghosts of the past, doomed to haunt;
Destined to lurk, forever in her memories,
Until the day she takes her final restful breaths.

Her skin, so pale it's almost translucent,
Taunts her with its radiant purity,
Its unblemished, clean magnificence;
A constant, painfully mocking reminder
Of reality: All of the damn splotches of gray
Surrounding what she remembers of her loss of innocence.

This thought is what finally colors her delicate complexion
And makes her tear her eyes from her neutral self-portrait, ashamed,
As she feels the hot spread of a crimson blush rise in her cheeks,
And she recalls, mortified, the heat and the color
Of his body pressed against her, driven in his heat, forceful,
And the blood then pooled between her legs, christening his sheets.

The tightness in her stomach comes on suddenly and she
Staggers back to collapse shakily upon her bed as, unbidden,
The memory assaults her and, like a wounded animal, she screams.
Because she truly did love him – loved him with all her heart – and
The love he promised her, the love that he returned, is now the thing
That wakes her in the dead of night and terrorizes her dreams.

And she carries on screaming now, because back then she went unheard,
And she cries angry, bitter tears now, because back then they were ignored,
And she howls in betrayal because she has finally found her voice.
Then, in a moment of clarity among the ruins, she makes her decision:
She decides that, if not about her innocence…
Then, at least about her life, she still has a choice…

A loud shot rings through the air...
The gun thuds, in the echoes of her screams, to the floor…
All because she decided she wouldn't let herself be hurt anymore…


L. Sherman