I Was Unforgiving

I was unforgiving when the first hands to love me, pleased themselves,

I was unforgiving when the first friend to show me the self,

loved with her hips and not her pulse.

But am I forgiving when her own blood stands before me

and I morph the memory into something beautiful,

for the sake of the baby that came from her womb

and with his innocent eyes looking into mine,

I silence them.

I was unforgiving when I lay there and let her

merge the trauma carried in her muscles, into mine

and told my sister to turn away so the memory didn’t stain her eyelids,

so she didn’t feel it.

What was I when I let her lips press down on mine,

still carrying the flavour of her father and I swallowed both their shame?

How my body wanted to deny her,

but my hands ground down her hips and I needed her to know;

I knew him too.

I am forgiving when I look back at our prayers,

amid the tears,

that were our words and

I still taste her wounds.

Rachel Finch

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