If They Stayed: A Letter to You by Kristin Ryan

I am not a silent poet

I am still not ready to forgive. I am not that strong. I still wish for your ashes to swirl down the gutter. Demand you to be mixed with worms and shit and the vomit I kept returning to for ten years.

I will never forget the look on my husband’s face on our-on my, first date when he asked if he could put his arm around my waist, asked so I would not flinch and I still did. Did I scream witness of attempted murder? Because when you think about it, that is exactly what it was. My neck is heavy from wearing a medal I didn’t want. I am not a hero.

That night after hiding all the knives under my bed, the darts under my pillow, the cordless phone sleeping in the back of my jeans I was ready. But I am not ready to forgive you.

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