poem in which you can’t hurt me by Annalisa Hansford

in this poem, you don’t hurl my body
               against gravel as my memories

of you bleed into grief. my blood staining
               the stones your favorite color: my hurt.

in this poem, i scream and someone hears.
               when i’m released from your grip, your

fingers don’t leave imprints on my body.
               in this poem, there is no reminder of the

parts of me you sliced open like a lab
               experiment. like a dead animal

being dissected. in this poem, i don’t
               need to unbandage my wounds

to be believed. the world sees you holding
               the blade. in this poem, i stitch myself,

and the wounds, back together. i scrub
               the knife clean of your reflection.

Annalisa Hansford’s poetry appears or is forthcoming in The West Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Eunoia Review, and elsewhere. They are probably listening to Gracie Abrams.