Damaged safety is all a home could ever give Take my gummy smiles, trade them for jaded edges Grew up watered with bleach, rose petal sized bruises Constantly mistaking love for misplaced too little, too late apologies No apologies, just silences scarfed down between bites of chicken and rice We lament together in the abuses of so-called protectors Before dodging each other’s blows to heads and hearts Unknown to care, gentle care, the sitcom type of care Except that we’ve memorized care in how we put salve on each other’s wounds If only to split them open later after all what good are bitter memories If not to be used as red-hot pokers at our weakest In how our best jokes hide away layers of suffering Crueler villains could not exist except those that learned the language of trauma along-side you More soothing nurses could not exist except those that speak that same language Home is knowing the dark origin story of your story’s villain Is the same as your own You’ve carved out safety in the damages you share
Ladan Hadafow is a writer, poet, biologist, and educator. Tracing back her hometown is work reminiscent of phylogeny but start in Somalia, jump to Kenya, then Egypt, then Portland, OR and finally land in Minnesota where she hibernates through the nine months of winter. Ladan is a Leo, kdrama fiend, and a kindred soul to Yzma. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Papeachu Press and Gumbo Media.
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