haunting a man who pretended
he could see me.
Only in the dark.
Only once a week.
Never in public
or on special occasions.
I believed the dissipated image
of myself he reflected,
saw only the pallid portrait
he hung as mirror before my eyes.
under the realization
that I had allowed his hands to consume
my life force, let myself out
through a window he forgot
he left open. Wandered like a leaf
abandoned by the wind for two years more.
Finally remembered I had feet,
skin, a voice that could sing. My eyes
rebelled against illumination for awhile,
accustomed to the varying shades
of promise and potential it revealed.
I developed a solidity
that kept me from falling through floors,
discovered walls functioned outside of
imprisonment. I built my own,
farther apart and painted in colors
to remind me that I was tangible.
princess, awakening to the wondrous
beginnings of a brand new tale.
A.J. Huffman has published thirteen full-length poetry collections, thirteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses. Her most recent releases, The Pyre On Which Tomorrow Burns (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers. She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2600 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. www.kindofahurricanepress.com.