daylight as erasure
The Branson School
on the other side of the pavement sits a school
bus filled with the chaos of silence and a girl
before she knew the word innocent. still, the clock
ticks at the wrong time.
wrong: meaning the school bus no longer houses children
wrong: meaning i can’t catch ghosts anymore
wrong: meaning the world has lost once again
you wanted, so desperately, something of your own and so,
you taught me that i was a body—no—your body,
with no home. you see—
because of you, i can join the exclusive club
of girls who know the daylight as darkness and the cardboard
on the pavement as sugar. tell me,
where did the laughter go? they touch us, broken girls, the way rich
men walk past the homeless: careless. sometimes, i don’t understand
how the sun rises each day, when
the daylight is already gone.
when people ask if he left scars, i want to cry because
of course he did, but i bled more rubbing my own skin raw than
i did from his wounds.
truth: i’m not sure who i am without the emptiness
question: do boys like you enjoy the rhythm of the clock? is that where you find
your order? because all i know is that each time i step into the daylight
all i hear is empty laughter and all i see are broken bodies. theory:
intimacy is a nightmare and the tick-tock of the clock is just an omen. i once
wrote poetry about how all i ever wanted was to be wanted before
i realized that to be wanted meant to be destroyed. lie:
yet, i like to imagine that one day
i could still be an angel. perhaps my biggest fear is simply
daylight on the horizon: the boys who reprimand us for daring to walk
the world as woman are the ones for whom chaos is a home.
the boys who turn sugar into cardboard no longer deserve my blessings.
theory: one day, my body will be my body again
daylight as exposure is beautifully written, authentic, raw. From its figurative language to its structure, it portrays the pertinent issue of sexual assault with vivid realism as well as maturity.
Jill Roberts is currently located in San Francisco, California and attended the Branson school in Marin. She graduated in 2019 and will be attending NYU Steinhardt in the fall to pursue a career in English education. Her work can be found in Blotterature, 2River, and is upcoming in Canvas Literary Journal
ABOUT THE AUTHOR