I’m not angry anymore
I buried the hatchet a long time ago
I buried the hatchet thrown by all of them, not just him, but a society of men,
teaching women how to behave like they’re ashamed
Calling us by names not meant to praise but define us, don’t align with us
and when their contempt hits my skin, it stings as it sinks in
Knife strokes I pretend not to notice
Nice girls don’t notice
So I
Buried the hatchet a long time ago
Long after
His mouth said “yes” and “I promise” and all the words I was taught to receive like valentines
All the words he said a thousand times
The fled,
went somewhere far enough away that my cell phone signal couldn’t reach him – he said – where women, those whores, threw themselves at him – he said – where it wasn’t ever his fault – he said-
where I couldn’t follow
not with my wounded heart bleeding so frankly,
so openly, like the conversation i was always trying to have,
so full of holes, like the way in which he responded,
So I stuffed my fists into the holes in my heart
and pretended I was whole
So i healed, what choice do we have
but to pretend we take pride in our scars
and I buried the hatchet a long time ago.

Now you sit here, with your wide open love and your innocent eyes
And we are hours and miles away from my hometown
And I am not what happened to me
But I was born out of my history
and now I am made of stone
Anger is a feeling I don’t own, being taught long ago that it doesn’t belong to me
So I let it go, moved on,
but now I have this hatchet
buried so deep in my chest
that I can’t tell where the hurting is coming from,
if it’s something I’ve manufactured or something I deserve or if it’s an echo of the thousands of times I have been educated on how to cry
We all take comfort in the familiar don’t we?
So when you say “don’t worry”
know that I am carrying the weight of weapons i once needed in my belly and I am tired but I don’t know how to set them down without ripping my guts out
When you say “trust me”
know that I want to respond but my tongue is being nicked by the blade and my throat is full of steel
When you say “I want you”
know that the handle of the blade is pressed into my pelvis
So when you thrust, I parry and when you say “I don’t want to fight with you”

I say “then teach me how to unlearn everything”
and when you say “why are you so angry”
I say
because nice girls don’t say
much of anything
and I wish I hadn’t learned how to heal so well
wish I hadn’t buried the hatchet so deep that it grew roots, learned it’s way around my body until it touched everything
I wish I could plunge my fingers into my chest, knuckle deep, and show you that my heart is not guarded, it is made of steel
I wish nice girls didn’t all smile so bright
like they have blades behind their teeth

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