elisa

United States

fifteen
dreaming of goddesses, sunflowers and italian sunshine.

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transgenerational trauma: a theory

October 11, 2019

FREE WRITING

12
i meet WOMAN under a palm tree. WOMAN is dressed in burn marks and when i touch her she melts like bones in acid. i sit down next to her and offer her candy. she rejects it in a voice like tree bark.

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT i ask. i don't know if i'm expecting an answer or if i just expect to her to watch me with dull eyes and wait for an easier question. just in case she is i prepare an easier one in the back of my head. i think she can hear it anyway.

DRY SHAMPOO she says.

i nod.

ALSO ABOUT LOBOTOMIES. AND HOW I NEVER KNOW WHEN TO FINISH SENTENCES, IF THEY'VE GONE ON TOO LONG OR TOO SHORT.

i nod again. I FINISH THEM WHEN MY VOICE RUNS OUT OR I CAN'T THINK OF ANY MORE METAPHORS

WOMAN beholds me with eyes that look like a metaphor i can't imagine right now. WOMAN is god, if god is supposed to taste like ash and give me a burning behind my eyes. WOMAN looks like someone who would make me dizzy if they weren't in my head.

CAN I KISS YOU i ask because i have to.

she doesn't answer so i don't.

WOMAN shows me her skinned knee and her blue blood. IF YOU KISSED ME WHAT DO YOU THINK I WOULD TASTE LIKE

LIKE A MIGRAINE AFTER CRYING OR SCRUBBING YOUR SKIN OFF AFTER SEX BECAUSE NO ONE TAUGHT YOU TO SAY NO

she can't laugh but if she could she would. instead she kisses me and our noses bump and my head fills with smoke. i trace her bottom lip with my tongue and draw away with something beautiful.
i ended an abusive relationship last week so here's some modern poetry i vomited up in case it helps me learn how to be again

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4 Comments
  • asta

    this piece is making me dizzy, but in the best of ways. this is one of the most beautiful things i've ever read..


    5 days ago
  • r|A|i|N

    i've been reading this piece and coming back to it for forever & i should say that i love every bit of your writing & your talent is unbelievable. this piece really confuses me, partly in a good way - the vague but urgent cadences in your writing are beyond gorgeous - the capitals, how everything seems to fit in an artful & unique way. i also don't know what to make of the confusion. this piece is purposefully jumbled around, but does the jumbled go anywhere? what do all the ideas mean? little lines like dry shampoo and blue blood and the god stuff? it's about romantic abuse, right? i really admire your style but i'm not sure how to interpret it. ik reader confusion from the stuff i write - sometimes stuff is vague on purpose & sometimes i leave readers to figure it out; sometimes i answer questions if i want them to understand. up to you.


    7 months ago
  • Norah

    so I wrote a review of this piece that's been pending for like a month, so here are the highlights in case it never gets to you:

    on the capitalization of WOMAN: Interesting choice, calls back to play-writing, and also the capitalization of things like G-d, makes the dialogue larger than life+very allegorical, well done

    on “candy”: These small details really add depth to this poem/story. I think candy especially, is rich in symbolism. I've been reading a book about women and war (The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich, it won the Nobel Prize for Literature and it is like nothing else I've ever read about war). Candy has been mentioned more than once, more than three or four times. That's more of an interesting observation than a comment, but this is what I thought of when I read this: young girls going to the front with candy in their suitcases.

    favorite line: “god is supposed to taste like ash and give me a burning behind my eyes,” “CAN I KISS YOU i ask because i have to.” also hit hard

    my general review: I have a lot of thoughts about generational trauma, I think people should take it more seriously, and you seem to be saying something about that while also speaking to a kind of universal experience of women which I find extremely interesting. I think there is more here, I think you could really expand this world, not into a full story or anything, but there are endless things to say about womanhood, trauma, etc. and I think you handle these topics with grace and understanding. I think your writing could help people, I hope that's helpful to hear. Cutting people out of your life is difficult but in the end very very worth it. I hope everything comes out okay, even if it isn't right now. Haunting work, your writing resonated with the part of me that will always be at war with itself.


    7 months ago
  • she’s-got-a-story

    elisa you are lovely and every time someone hurts you, you write it into art. im still so proud of you.
    also this is so disjointed but it feels purposeful and the capitalization hurts my eyes but somehow gets the point across and “she can’t laugh but if she could she would” and “someone who would make me dizzy if they weren’t in my head” just wowowowow.

    writer in the dark by lorde.


    8 months ago