violence is so, so many things.
overt things, like hurting someone’s body, with purpose. i mean, there are millions of horrible ways to harm a body: hitting, kicking, slamming, pushing, shoving, choking, pinching, smacking, smothering. small things on small parts, also bigger things, with bigger sounds and bigger sores left behind.
violence is also quiet things, like silence. refusing to speak to someone, for hours, or days. the tilt of a head. a glare, or an empty stare, as if you are invisible. ignoring, either purposefully or by being disengaged. not watching, not telling. keeping secrets. perpetuating lies. the absence of presence.
violence is words. ones that are spoken, or hissed, or screamed. ones that are whispered. dirty, disgusting words, yes, but also words that are used opposite to how they’re meant. like i love you while simultaneously having disgusting things done to your body without your say, or you’re a good girl when it really means shut up, don’t tell, no one will believe you. words that get so confused in your brain because the sound of their voice, and what they say is not in line.
violence poisons things. violence dresses up in sheep’s clothing. it is a backdrop, an acrid smell, an insidious chill. violence has bad manners; ignores no thank you and please, stop! and fuck off.
violence was bred into me, was done to me and all around me, and i worry i won’t ever get it out, or off. i fear that others can smell it. that i will never get away. that my cells are rotten, that my body was so steeped in it, that violence is my inevitable destiny. though i know it, have always known it, i am terrified, i am an unwilling servant, i want to be free.