next time, someone kind
i peel my fingers to count skin cells
cut my hair with a bone saw
as curls static to curtain
i make my bed
pick mites up off the floor
to remove his skin from mine
i take a scalpel to my cervix
uncarve his name from my fingernails
rusted doorhinges i cover in white paint
& the clocks
i unzip the mattress to retrieve
sometimes i want to fix myself
sometimes i use green bedsheets
I can’t sleep without watching someone
I hate to look in mirrors in the dark. I used to think
of men so highly. I miss my periphery—these days
I can only unravel chairs from carpet fibres.
Snakes hide in my carpet because I asked them
to choke me. I am becoming a witch. I held another
woman & she wept & she told me what he did to her.
I am another woman & I weep for myself. I pour
my tears down the legs of her bedframe: my eyes
belong to her. I glimpse a mirror & he is there
& he is not there, & I wear a boa constrictor
around my shoulders.
+++++++++++++++++++I will kill him yet.
Leslie Joy Ahenda is a Canadian poet. She has work published in Poetry is Dead, Honey & Lime Lit, and NoD Magazine. She was the Director of Marketing for Issue 17 of This Side of West, and she is an editorial intern on the Malahat Review poetry board. You can find her on Twitter at @leslieahenda.