Poetry

Layering

Written by Stephanie Kleanthous

Illustration by Emily Nash

An abundance of stars,

In the absence of cars,

The only electricity

Is ours.

Shocked and paralysed by every move you’re making,

As you lie on my thighs my body is awakened,

For you.

Sat inside reading poetry,

And I know that you’re owing me

Absolutely nothing,

But you’re turning my thoughts

Into something,

Tingles down my spine

When you’re humming.

That pulsating chain of events

That led up to me asleep in your bed,

Made me want to learn every shard that you scattered before me,

Climb into every window in the hopes you’ll adore me,

Pull back the curtains and reassure me,

‘Cause I don’t even feel comfortable,

‘Cause he took pieces that left me vulnerable,

Can’t be beside you without my t-shirt on,

So I’m layering.

I’m layering sheets of myself I didn’t even know I had,

And you’re quick to talk back

But my anxiety’s attacked,

Nothing I have is intact,

When I can’t leave him in the past.

And I don’t know what you think of me,

If you reminisce about kissing me,

All I know is that you twisted me,

So I made the right choice out of disbelief,

Fucking him off to feel relief,

But there I was in your house with PTSD,

Every move you make, still shocking me.

I skipped therapy for you,

Just to stay those extra hours

Just to sleep that extra night,

But it was all pointless,

I still don’t know what I look like.

Whirled up in your words,

Hurled me out of his curse,

So now I’m taking the time

To find what I deserve.

Currently, Stephanie is completing an English Literature degree whilst working full time in hospitality. She enjoys writing poetry, scripts and short stories as well as discussing issues related to mental health, underrepresented voices and feminism. She had an article published in Sunday Girl Magazine Issue 07.

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