Without a Name to Hide Behind - Samantha Madway

Your bare, my bones— we’ll never break even.

You pronounce repressed like capital offense. You stomp and slam and seethe, take a bow and expect a standing ovation for your honesty, for being better than me.

they’re only words

You hoard sticks, build a bonfire at my feet, ready to burn me down. No need to find a stake: I’ll always take flames over rage scantly contained by the bars of your bared teeth.

they’re only words

My bare, your bones— I’m still the one breaking.

You spit, you spew. You stoop me like stenosis, old age, fused vertebrae. Every day, I find more you-must-be-this-tall-to-rides I’m no longer tall enough for, even though I was before.

they’re only words

Your mouth is all clenched jaw, a cruel machine continually extruding threats. You hurl slurs, detonate or-elses all over the place. Your barbs draw blood. I take pains not to show any. Your face can pass for a fist.

My bare, my bones— sometimes I dream in stones.

Samantha Madway is working on a collection of poems and flash fiction. Her other passion project is a book of darkly humorous essays and stories written from the perspectives of different animals. She loves her dogs, Charlie, Parker, and Davey, more than anything else in the universe. Her writing has appeared in Linden Ave, High Shelf, Sky Island Journal, Aurora, mutiny!, Clementine Unbound, SLAB, and elsewhere. Instagram: @sometimesnight

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