i used to be strong.
i used to be independent.
then came the ring,
white gold with tanzanite,
because i hate diamonds.
it sparkled just the same.
and i hated it just the same.
then came the white gown
with layers of impossibilities
and a corset to steal my breath.
my hair in ringlets,
topped with a wreath of flowers..
i stepped into my mother's ideal wedding,
the wedding she never had,
the wedding i never wanted.
newly wed and no longer me
i am transplanted to a new,
where the sun inspires death
and joshua trees are posed like mad dancers
beneath cloudless skies.
i conjure new dreams for my new life.
a picture perfect home
where the counters are always crumbless,
beds always made
and dinner always ready
for a husband who is always late.
i wanted to make emily post proud
and smile like a lady
and be the perfect wife.
but that was not me.
and so i leave towels on the floor
and dishes in the sink.
i pick up a pen and i write.
i write until i am wordless,
and then i paint pictures to color my colorless world..
only to find myself resented.
a bottle of wine,
a gift from our wedding,
is opened and invites rage into the adobe night.
i feel his hands around my neck
and remember the corset stealing my breath.
i see red before me on the floor,
i look up ate my new husband,
who looks down on me.
he says, "i hope you know this was all your fault."
years go by
and i grow smaller.
betrayal and bruises are the new colors of my life.
phrases like "i love you"
turn into "can i use you?"
go hand in hand with closed fists.
and promises of never again
give birth to new lies that sprawl like climbing vines.
i am the wall they cling to.
i am the wall they die against.
the final day came.
the desert sun was reaching its peak
and for the last time his hands found my neck
and for the first time new eyes saw
and new lips spoke.
"don't hurt mama!"
my heart shattered like the many wine glasses of our past
and i remembered my breath
i remembered my life.
i realized my reason
and i looked to the door.
i found my lost strengh
and i gathered it all.
kelly hilliker 2009.