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Without a Single Touch

by Katie Woods

Without a Single Touch

The sudden chill returns to my bones

It’s a faint sting that seeps through my core

I don a sweater hoping to dull the ache

But no amount of layering can keep me warm

It’s been 13 years since you met me

Only a child behind wide eyes of fear

You changed that timid girl grasping at straws

To a wild woman hating the mirror

I grew up too fast beneath your hand

Though at the time I wanted it that way

Children don’t know what’s best for them

Or have the instinct to keep themselves safe

Blind trust was set at your feet

And soon infatuation came to follow

You morphed these tender things into a knife

To carve through my chest until it was hollow

It was natural for me to reach for you

As a child of already rampant abuse

But the neglect of my person and feelings

Made me that much easier to seduce

I don’t know which of us loved the other first

Honestly it doesn’t matter all that much

Because only one of us was an adult

And children can break without a single touch


Small Hours of Night

It usually happens in the small hours of night My

rail resolve thins and I lose the mental fight

Shrouded in darkness, not unlike my weathered

mind I try to become smaller and harder to find I

cower in the corner of the steam-filled shower My

tight chest won’t loosen, even after an hour I open

my mouth to scream but I’m silent again I think I

might instead shake right out of my skin My

shallow breath is quick, my dazed vision is blurred

Memory of your vile touch returns with your

words My aching abdomen clenches, I want to be

sick I need you removed from the pit of my


I curl into a ball on the couch or in my bed

Desperate for safety, I pull covers over my

head My tears have stained all the pillows

that I own When the sun rises, I can’t help

but feel alone



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