Survivor’s Guilt


My therapist explains
That survivor’s guilt is for more than war and rape.
She asks me if I had ever thought to fight back: I did.
I told her I thought to call.
I almost jumped in the boiling bloodbath.
I looked toward the knife.
I told her I couldn’t, I just couldn’t fight.
I forever accept my survivor’s duty to live an empty life
For the sake of the evil I dared not speak of;
For not raising my voice when it was important.
A decade later, we are ruins.
Bodies incapable of love,
Damaged by the altered wires in our brains.
I want to be a full person
For the still-smiling members of my family
But I just can’t see any future.
I am eternally sorry for taking your color,
Eternally sorry for taking your light.
If I could go back,
I would scream through the rock in my throat to fight.
If I could go back, it would be me; not you.
I would have disobeyed harder, been less kind.
I would do anything to save you next time.

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