Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

The Silence of Seven

What can I say that I haven’t tried to tell you before? I have tried to turn my voice into a machine at times, thinking my words may drill understanding into your head, your heart, anything. I failed at that. Or you failed at that. It doesn’t matter anymore. What’s done is done and it exists forever now. My heart is heavy with the weight of the world, always has been. But somehow I allowed you to make that heaviness feel light in comparison to the way judgement looks in your eyes. I can’t compare anything to the times I’ve felt so abandoned by the person who promised for better or worse. I laugh about that now. Sometimes I look at you in your laid back ways, never letting anything bring you down, and I get it. I get that you couldn’t possibly understand the turmoil that turns my mind into a tornado of so many different things. Things that already destroyed who I was and every day they threaten what’s left of who I am now. My grace is gone. It left a long time ago with everything else. I’ve tried to tell you about that girl you used to know. I told you over the years what happened to her, why you’ll never see her again. Even though you were there. It didn’t matter enough to you I guess. But for me, God… help me now. I can’t even write about it without breaking all over again. And you know I never talk about God, the way I once did. I can still feel the marks on my knees from all the times I kneeled down and begged him…. he never answered. Or maybe his answer was like yours… just silence. But that’s not an answer. Never was. Never can be. Silence didn’t help me. Silence….

You know what silence is to me? It’s what killed that girl I was before. Took everything I ever wanted and smeared it across my face hard and said…”Sorry.” I hate the word sorry. But I never heard that word from you then. I guess you didn’t know what to say, like everyone else. People always say the dumbest things anyway. Maybe silence is better in the way it has tortured me for so long. Maybe never having anyone acknowledge what happened was better than hearing the words “It was meant to be.”

Please tell me how something like that is meant to be. I already know the stupid answers people use for that question. It was never meant to be. Tell me why I had to hear those beautiful heartbeats so many times only to have “I’m so sorry” shoved down my throat like a flatline telling me “fuck you!” I want you to know what it’s like. I want you to feel this. I want you to look at this four bedroom house. Open the two doors that stay closed. I need you to feel the same emptiness. I want you to lie down on that table at the doctors office with the cold substance on your belly, feel the anticipation of hearing the heartbeat again. I want you to see the face of the technician who leaves to get the dr. I want you to feel it when the Dr says, “I’m sorry.” I want you to hear how “I’m sorry” sounds to me. It sounds like “I’m sorry your baby is dead…. maybe next time.”

I want you to know what that feels like.

Then I want you to feel it seven times. I want it to destroy you. I want you to relive each one for the rest of your life. I want it to empty you. I want it to strip your faith in everything. I want you to be cut open again and again, so the doctor can scrape out what’s left of your dreams. Then I want to constantly ask you what happened to you. Tell you how you used to be so much better. How now you’re just crazy.

Or maybe I just wanted you to acknowledge it once… or seven times.

But you never did.

That’s how we died.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


2 thoughts on “The Silence of Seven”

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