By: Sierra Ellison
like the first time, but her skin has grown too thick, so he switches to the larger needle and the pain smears across her ribs like a swarm of sickness. Now she’s past the point of tears; they’ve skittered away like critters between cars and as he shades she whispers, "I'm alive. I’m human." But she’s dying. She’s
dying and it's not peaceful like they promised in Sunday school, but then again they only
promised peace if she stayed, if she said
thank you after please, if she looked both
ways before crossing the street, if she didn’t
break that banister, if she hadn't lied and
lied, if she hadn’t had sex in his parents' bed, if
she hadn't changed and changed and changed and cheated on that test, if she
hadn't thrown a purse at her sister, if she hadn’t drank until she threw up, if she hadn't thrown up from what he'd said, if she hadn't gotten married and divorced, if she hadn't tried to die before she paid someone to kill her.
Sierra Ellison was a finalist in Sundance’s “Table Read My Screenplay” contest and writer of a nationally televised TV series, but her main goal is to publish fiction and poetry. She has a love for genre fiction, primarily fantasy, but is currently working on a chronological collection of short stories following the life of a “stunted” woman in her twenties.
"The concept of this poem came to me as I was sprawled out on a tattoo chair. It wasn’t my first tattoo, so when the tattoo artist dug the needle into my rib cage and immeasurable pain rattled through me, I went into complete shock. As my body tried to convince me that the artist was actually trying to murder me, my mind took a journey through the trauma of my past."