100 Days Project

Kayla: Grief. Mercy. Language

I will write some form of poem or prose each day, experimenting with different structures, voices and styles in order to create emotive texts that explore the limits of language and meaning.

Something comes over me when I am censored.

"Don't say that"

Like an animal caught in a trap. Hot emotions flash over me. Embarrassment. Indignation. Rage. Shame. The Tiger wakes. The one who says, 

"Don't look at me"

There is a need to restore balance. To stand up for myself. Because I was always told to shut up, stay down. Down, where they can kick me. And that's when the Tiger roars. When it wants to maul. 

"Listen to me"

It's instantaneous. I look down. I look up. The black ignites in my eyes. I clench my teeth shut. Not here, not now. I can't let the Tiger out now.

But my voice is all I have. And when I'm censored - when I'm told to stay down, shut up - it gives me strength. A blind, seething energy that makes me want to scream -

"No. I will speak"

But I can't. Because there is no language, only a roar. And I can't let it out - not here, not now. The Tiger has decades of rage coiled in its limbs, and wired in its jaw. It cannot hunt tonight.

But the cage has been rattled. The Tiger needs to feed. And so I surrender myself - the lamb, again.

Day 18: