27 December 2013

Faceless Woman

I apologise. Not because
I wronged you personally,
except in the privacy
of my mind for things
you will never know, things
that will never cross your path,
at least, not at my hands. But
even if you never once feel
the whiplash of
the towering hurricane
of my anger and resentment,
of my bitterness and contempt,
I owe you an apology
nevertheless. I refuse
to give you a face; in my mind
I try very hard to blur
it out, to make it nothing
more than vague shape
and colour. I refuse
to think of you
by name—not because
I dislike you, (I do not
even know you) or because
I seek to deny you any
humanity or dignity that
a proper name lends. The truth
of the matter is, by keeping
you as remote and distant
as I can, by keeping you
an Other, I seek to do
the exact opposite. I fear
I am not strong enough
to think of you as real,
as flesh and bone and blood,
without wanting to strip
one or both of us down to bloody
tatters. Because that is
the world we live in, and
I am not strong enough,
as a woman, to be able
to look at you as anything
but the Other Woman without
wanting to place all the blame
squarely at your feet, exactly
for being the Other Woman. Instead,
I want to place that blame
where it belongs, with the
one who tore my heart to pieces,
rather than take an innocent
face and make the worst things
people say about my sex
the only truth the world can see.

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