Two kinds of sky
make her think of possibility,
neither the bright blue kind
crayons are named after.
First is the sky before rainfall,
the one that hangs low over the city
like a soggy blanket,
mottled gray with clouds that mirror
the ever-present bruises on her skin.
She can almost feel this type of sky
like a hand passing over her cheek,
a touch that promises
inevitable release and healing.
It is the touch she dreams of
every time he uses her body
as a canvas for his fury.
Under this sky
she can almost convince herself
that storms eventually beget sunshine
and thinks perhaps beneath all her scars
she is whole.
The other is the sky
on moonless, starless nights,
the one that is really less sky
than its negation,
the same way that black
is the absence of color.
When the pitch-dark engulfs her
and all that makes her think
of insomnia as an antidote to nightmares,
edges blur, forms bleed into each other
and fathers who abuse their daughters
from those who don’t—
there are no shadows to fear.
Under this sky
she almost believes
that nothing matters enough to hurt
and thinks perhaps despite everything
she is free.
The above poem was written for and workshopped in a creative writing class that I took in university. For this assignment we were asked to create a sensory experience around a particular word. Of course I chose one of my favorites.
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