“Unbroken” by Sara-Anne Beaulieu

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27 years, I have tried to
shed your skin, weighted
on me like an overcoat.

27 years, I pick this pen
up, stand tall to your
reddened toothless face, spit

flying from your lips.
To draw my adult form
over the child, her inky

jagged body in the corners
of the mind.
She looks

at you, unable to separate newly
sobered you, from old, stagnant scent of booze,
bloated belly full of beer, hair trigger

temper. Separate the you
from the demons that
that still flare your nostrils

monstrously. Demons that dig wide fingers into
my arm, dragging me, the child, out the door,
screaming

shut your ungrateful mouth; to get
the fuck out. So slick, no bruise surfaced.
Beneath skin, blood rattles,

heart, hands, legs quake.
A low familiar howl
escapes from the child’s lips

as your back turns to me,
and I scream not again, not
again.

Watch me father. Watch
me throw the coat
to the ground,

the fists, the
slammed cupboards, the
beer bottles spinning in infinity.

Enough.

My voice shakes, trying to
destroy this black eye of
rage and sickness; save the child

who has been waiting
10 years ago, yesterday, this
minute.

Waiting for me to shed your skin,
the fracture of 27 years, and emerge
unbroken.

 

 

Sara-Anne Beaulieu is a recent Masters of Fine Arts graduate at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. She has studied with poets Anne Waldman, Jeff Friedman, and Joan Larkin. She has just completed her thesis on Diane di Prima’s Loba, and her own manuscript No Roses. Ms. Beaulieu currently resides in Rhode Island.

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