By Ariel Dunnah

Ariel Dunnah

We stop looking for monsters under the bed when we realize they are inside of us

A young girl

Aged twelve years young

She is down on her knees every night


Once upon a time she was told this is where you come to find salvation

Crying out for a savior

But no one could save her

Hands flailing in the air she reaches out to touch God’s lips

But with empty hand she clenches a fist

“Open the door and he shall come in”

She pounds at his chest, hollowness resounding

What kind of monster does not understand the sanctity

Hiding beneath white sheets?

Strips her naked, forces her to bare her soul

Now she bears no soul

But rather bears a heavy load

Curved spine, breaking bones like religion

It makes it hard for her to dance

He tore the smile from her face

And left a scar that couldn’t be replaced

No one told her how to unlearn herself

Changing her face everyday to look like someone else

She could be someone that you know

Or presumably harmless strangers brushing shoulders on a by road

Learning about unfurling spines from beneath beds

She has learned to walk upright; like a majestic steed

Darkness enveloping, she has traded in the illuminating essence of sunlight

Hiding faces like racing pulses in the night

There are still some parts of her she cannot hide

Often finds herself crying at the break of first light

Caved in chest and arising bosom

He put a cave in her chest before God could give rise to her bosom

It’s where she lost those last bits of humanity

Her sanity

She’d like to find it again but she doesn’t want to brave the dark anymore than is necessary

Every stir in this hollow is resounding

So she walks the lonely roads looking for wondering men willing to help the pretty lady

But they are often to drunk and dank with expectation to know what humanity looks like

What her sanity looks like

Stumbling around in the darkness

Sliding on bruised and withered flowers

Tripping over cliffs

She sits on the edge of her vision asking the meaning of regret

As the sun peeks over the horizon

Illuminating silent and still oceans

Author’s Bio: Ariel Dunnah is an 18 year old student at the Antigua State College. She had two stories in the 2014 Wadadli Pen finals – A Grain of Salt was honourable mention in the 18 to 35 age category and La Diablesse was second placed in the category. Both were strong contenders for the main prize with La Diablesse being adjudged third place overall. This is not Ariel’s first go around in the Wadadli Pen winners’ circle – she was first and second place in the 13 to 17 age category and second placed overall in 2012 while still a student at the Antigua Girls High School.

Copyright belongs to the author; so, no stealing.

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Wadadli Pen 2014, Wadadli Pen News

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