Whenever I object to something or start to cry, you say I’m wound one turn too tight.
Then the volume of our conversation rises until it is loud enough to become a true fight. You always win. You continue the argument, get even louder, use words as weapons.
I always apologize, my humble words become a softening blanket on your flames of ire. My own feelings are suppressed, suffocated by tears. I become powerless to move, to think about moving. One morning, I looked in the mirror and saw your hand-wound tightly around my waist—in a seeming embrace, making up for the anger. My ribs had no room to give my lungs space to breathe.
Tomorrow, as soon as you leave, I plan to go so far that your hands can no longer grip me. Then I will be free. And looser. No longer wound too tight.
Joan Leotta plays with words on page and stage. Her work, including poems, essays, short stories, and articles, has been widely published. Some journals are: Pine Song, Anti-Heroin Chic, Drunk Monekeys, Peacock Review, Visual Verse, Verse Virtual, Silver Birch, and Stanzaic Stylings. She performs folk and original tales of food, family and strong women. Her chapbook, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon is out with Finishing LIne Press. Her collection, Nature's Gifts is online with Stanzaic Stylings. She was nominated for a Pushcart for a short fiction piece this year.