News Poetry: (Survivors)

Language is like eating ice cream, with a fork. 

I apologize to another person for forgetting their birthday 

and wonder if it’s possible to forget something you never actually knew. 

People are always asking me how I am, apparently expecting me to know. I don’t say: the illusion of honesty can build the most impressive wall. 

I am a chain-link fence. Everyone sees the whole—not the holes. 

I am trying to pinpoint when I decided it was okay to not fully exist.

What makes us human, I guess, is our ability to hate (ourselves). 

Or maybe, that’s just what makes me (a woman). 


This piece is dedicated to survivors of sexual assault.


Photo credit: Joe deSousa, Creative Commons, Flickr 
Alyssa Oursler's prose has been published or is forthcoming in Hobart, The East Bay Review, 805 Lit, Luna Luna Magazine, and more. She works as a journalist. You can find her on Twitter @alyssaoursler.