That July left a stain on her underwear—then-criminal,
locking her wide, tearful eyes with its face, red with anger.
She screamed with wounds, clawing the body
that betrayed her, an attempt to claw out the bodies
that broke into her
eight years ago
in a thicket sick with darkness.
Honey, you’re a woman now
(when she wanted to die by five.)
She was three in the wake of childhood,
and like a hit-and-run, the cowards killed her—
monsters: cologne soaked deviants in a room
of mysteries and threats and sweat and summer heat.
Honey, you’re a woman now.
She would cut her clothes and beat her legs until they bruised
tree thorns and broken glass were not enough;
soon, she would swallow pills
and cry in psychiatric wards
where they would tell her that the nightmares were explicit fabrications.
A “woman” now!
A complex woman at eleven,
where some would say
an egg could override her right to live.
A weeping womb
uterine lining like a bomb
causing blood and damage once a month
because the things that crawled their way inside her
could not be clawed out by her.
A woman now—
a woman because she bleeds for days on end
or understands endurance; she’s not sure,
but her mother keeps telling her
she is a woman “now”
when she does not remember
what it was like to be a child.
Veronica V. Hough is an artist of various mediums, focusing greatly on but not limited to writing and photography. She currently maintains a blog focusing primarily on mental health and personal development at http://swingsetwisdom.com, as well as a visual arts blog you can visit at http://mothletter.com. Her artwork often stems from personal horrors endured in or inspired by reality. She has had work previously published in Body Parts Magazine.