what did the gorge look like?
              thrashing water,
                            boulders and pebbles smooth,
                                           leaves rustling under the street lamps?
                                           were there monsters in the waters?
                                           sirens wailing
                                                                    beckoning you closer
                           did they taunt you, mock you, remind you
                                          the fingers that played the violin and danced along the string
                                                      go so deep
                                                      search in caverns
                                                      dig for lackluster gold
                                                                   and come out with blood under the nails
how did the officers hold you?
              pull you?
                           cradle you?
                                         talk sweet nothings
                                                    coax you
                                                    smooth your hair over and wipe your tears
                                                    love, they cry,
                                                                  you are deserving
                                                                               life, they whisper,
                                                                                            is yours to keep
                                                   (but what about your fingers? where did those stains come from?
                                                                 were they around her neck

                                                                 crushing her throat until no words came out?)

did you see me as you leapt?
was i smiling or
              crying or
                           laughing or –
was i squirming under you
              pleading with you
                           covering my body so you couldn’t soil it again
                                         bloody handprints
                                                   fingers and lips open and waiting to devour
                                                                 any last shreds of dignity
as you possess my skin and bones
consume them

until they are no longer mine

or did you sit in your room
              dream this all up
                             shape and mold it with your hands
                                           lathered it with guilt
                                           to spoon-feed to me like the candy hearts
                                           you crushed under your toes on the ugly musty carpet of your apartment
so you could always be the hero,
              the one who strings the bow, arrows hitting the axe shafts
                                                                     until my hand is yours
                            in sickness and in health
                                        (but you filled my lungs with smoke)
                            for better or for worse
                                        (but you control the puppet strings, watch me dance, sing you to sleep,
                                                      walk and walk and walk until i reach the survivors’ office)
do you see me now?
i push that hand away
              (and all the fingers, chipped nails, scraps of my insides)
over the gorge
              so you reap what you sow
                            and the officers let you fall and say
                                          go home, odysseus