Verbal Abuse | Kelsey O’Connell

I never saw you beating me.
I found phantom bruises down my shins,
swollen eyelids,
and scars.
I woke up broken with
finger and palm prints on each arm.

I traced the hand.
I found your words bloodied my nose,
your lies knit and pulled my hair,
left wispy handfuls limp in fists
poised like boxers’ gloves.
You pushed me until my skin cried black and blue
and my head sang surrender.

I took a blade to my shoulder
to remember which cuts were real.


Kelsey OConnell is a graduate of Elon University and the Columbia Publishing Course. She enjoys writing and reading everything, all the time. Kelsey is so excited to be published in The Fem and can’t wait to watch it grow.


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