The Pain that Returns

At some point, the pain returns. And when it does, it comes unexpected, tsunamiing its way into your stomach from your chest. The truth is, the pain probably never left, instead, it lay dormant swaying itself way silently until it builds enough strength again to burst through. The thing about memory is that it makes you feel as if everything is happening in the very moment you are remembering. You feel the fear, the knots in your throat, the heap of sadness too heavy for you to carry, you feel the loss, fresh- the anger toward you- you feel the punch in your stomach, the eyes, you feel everything.


At some point, the pain returns. And when it does, you realise how the absence of justice and care brews more pain, it brews hatred and anger and thoughts too awful to carry. I think about justice, how hard it is to come by in a broken system, one stitched together by paper clips and rhyme schemes- how women regardless of status, ability, and the weight of their tongues are left without anything to hold on to, how injustice, wraps itself in a pretty red coat and shapeshifts with a new self only to be the same injustice.


At some point, the pain returns. And when it does, you are reminded of the cost of unburdening, how sweet words of solidarity eventually mean nothing if the intent was to mask. You are reminded that even after everything rots, the worms are shaken off for a new season.


At some point, the pain returns. And when it does, you remember that someone always knew, someone always saw, someone was always there to remind you of the cost of speaking out, of showing up.




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