Not old enough to fluently run
But transported across continents
To a stark place where the cold chewed on my bones.
They gave me shame to flay my own skin.
No one spoke my language in this cold place.
Vile words lay under their tongues,
Words that I refused the bitter taste of.
Refuge in armored silence against this nowhere land.
It was not temporary.
I drown over and over in aching for something
but the memories become memories of stories
instead of the faces and the scents
and the feeling on my skin of warmth from bodies and the sun.
No one came for me; those ties have strained and snapped.
And now I was stranded out of reach.
I learned how to shape their words into weapons.
Because my own words had left me too,
I took theirs instead—a meticulous thief.
So I could cut them deeply, and they would never forget.
Pulled from the futile grip of a child.
A piece that was taken away before I knew what it was,
but I always wondered what should be in that sick space.