The Body Fights Back

Content warning: physical abuse

Agonizing screams for me to STOP!

Shall fall on ears the mind has told for years “I will not”

I watch as soft supple pale skin is caressed by sunlight

Simple elation energizes buoyant spirals that dance, take flight

Beautiful big eyes, glassed gazes, waterfall Innocence

That which is unforeseen lest prepared am I to recompense

Face is barricaded, pressure pinned, and beaten

I wait as these boys wreak havoc; satisfied, eaten

Bruised the lights; warmth begins to retreat frozen

Molded we become by hatred long woven

I watch as frustration, anger, overwhelmed sentiments divest

Throwing fists up, bright red and yellow hues manifest

Shocked, abused, stung swelling

Rivers run without a sound mind quelling

Yet heavy hands fall hard on porcelain

Memories seared branded distortion

Once, twice, thrice over in silence

Hit just hard enough; no evidence of violence

Limbs directed; harsher words never spoken

Act now or soon I’ll be far too broken

Body over mind, war rages

Listened not for paralysis built me cages

Wean I will grow in stages.

Vanessa Berrio

Vanessa Berrio is an aspiring Avant Garde Fashion Designer. A passion for words and telling her story has manifested itself in over 100 poems, which she hopes to publish in a book one day.

Hailey Renee

Hailey Renee Brown is a professional illustrator born and raised in mid Michigan. A former field biologist, she moved across country from Michigan to New Jersey, also moving from science to commercial art. A professionally trained artist, she attended the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in Dover, NJ. She was selected the recipient of the 2017 Norman Maurer Memorial Award as well as the 2019 Joe Kubert Jumpstart Project.