Phoenix

Poem I wrote after getting out of an abusive relationship is Texas:

I hear my heavy breathing.
In and out. In and out.
Faster. Faster.

I grab the handle of the door and open it.
It’s storming outside.
My lips separate and form into a macabre grin.
What has happened to me?

I step outside.
The wind is whipping my hair into my eyes.
They sting.
I start to cry.
I’m not in pain.
I am vindicated.

The sobs are ripped from my chest as I sink to my knees.
The water puddles around me. The cold sends stabbing daggers of pain through my legs
But I don’t care. I feel the power in the air and I feel powerful now too.

I lift my face to the tormented sky and the drops of rain mix in with my tears.
I open my mouth as if to scream but only a gasp of surprise comes out at first.
I hear my heart beating above the din of the thunder.
My hair hangs in sanguine strands around my face.
I look down. I see my pale hands and ball them into firsts.

Then I scream. I scream until it turns into laughter.
I scream until there is nothing left of him.
Until there is only me.

I sit there then, in the freezing rain.
Shivering and hoarse. Feeling as if I had won a great war.
Laughing like an insane person and the tears still flowed.
I don’t know what I’m feeling. Is this what freedom feels like?

I unzip my jacket then. I let the droplets of icy redemption punch me in the chest.
I smile. I’ve died and I’ve been reborn in the same instant.
There is no wondering. There is no fear. There is no running.
There is only me.
Only my breathing.
In and out. In and out.

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