ON SURVIVING | Cassandra Myers

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“The word Survivor links to a history, links to some of us who have not survived.” 

Violence drove me to madness
in an ambulance, that red
white and blue hearse. 

My abusers took turns at the wheel.
Checked me into the hospital.
Waved from behind the glass. 

The intake bed’s parchment dress –
white like every inescapable sheet.
white like the ones icing a gurney –
the body’s final embrace after the wake. 

Lest Us Forget the wake
that morning came for us once,
and can, someday, again. 

Lest Us Forget that surviving outlives us.
That it walks us to the grave.
That it gives us our own private eulogy. 

Lest Us Forget,
those of us that did not make it,
those of us who took the r/pe to the dirt,
took their life as a way to take their life back. 

Let us Forget 

All the hands
and the names
married to each finger
when we count
the small deaths 

Let Us Forget –
The handwritten notes
And the medicine cabinet, and
the cavalry of knives 

Let Us Forget
the escape taxis.
the phone numbers.
tinder profiles. 

Let Us Forget
all of their faces
but never each others
never our own names. 

Let Us Forget
everything that tried to kill us,
including the times we tried to kill us.
Our violent parades, wading into the lake. 

Let Us Forget the lake
Pack up the stones. Leave the rope.
Turn on the car and drive yourself
anywhere, but here. 

 

Cassandra Myers (they/she), a queer, non-binary, brown, mad, survivor, writes through her threaded intersections with a focus on detangling. The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word Champion 2019 and CUPSI 2018 Best Poet, Cassandra has been performing within spoken word and slam poetry spaces for over six years. A MSW candidate at York University, Cassandra is applying narrative therapeutic practises within their work as a social service provider and an arts activist. 

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