Loyalty

I didn’t cry
when the belts lashed and
the flesh stung
or the backside bruised
from flying across
one too many rooms
when I shook each wall
in the house and pictures broke
I didn’t cry
when I was sworn to deathly
secrecy that made my
innards ice and landslide
I didn’t choke on secrets
I didn’t give anything away
but my dolls, open-armed,
as a gift, as a sacrifice
I didn’t cry
when I lost myself
I cried when I spilt
the milk, when I choked
at the table, when I
had no reason to cry
I found reservoirs
of dirty water and I
apologized as the tears
stained my dresses
I didn’t cry when I
froze on the swing when
I first felt empty
I cried on a swing when
I was twenty
missing a lost girl
who kept all the keys
and all the pretty pieces
to the face that
had no name

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