My vision of the city I grew up in comes to be in flashes of Technicolor.

Doctors offices, roving doors of emergency rooms, psychiatric wards, rooms made to look comfortable while having my mind probed. Medication. Violence.

This city:

It’s the scent of desperation coating my skin. Hopeless that smells like Chanel *5. The scent of death in its sweet seduction. The scent of choking on the very air you breathe, gasping out without sound.

This city:

It’s the feel of silky stockings, riding up to my thighs. Sexy in heels, and covering up red gashes of misdirected anger. A multitude of sin wrapped in a pretty package yet still rotting.

This city:

It’s the blurred location, blurred vision of bedrooms, blurred vision of faces. Meaningless. Endless.

This city:

It’s the feeling of violation. Of violent penetration. Of silent pain.

This city:

It’s the reflection of a person I don’t recognize. A familiar face masked in death. A body waiting to expire and eyes who’s light has extinguished.

This city:

It’s the relentless drug of sex and money. Of devaluation, objectification, and money purchasing worth and consent.

This city:

It’s the loss of any sense of Self, of no longer being an autonomous entity. Body and mind a product belonging to those posing as loved ones.

This city:

It’s forced orgasms, forced screams, posing and pretending, terror and anxiety.

This city:

It’s the unbelievable question ‘Is this making love?’ while being raped. And as the customer is always -always- right, it’s my flirtatious answer and another blow to my soul.

This city:

It’s being indebted to my pimp after running out on a client turned violent.

This city:

It’s the inability to hold onto tainted money. And the lasting incredulity of minimum wage. The knowledge what I can make in an hour. And knowing I never could.

This city:

It’s filth. The inability to feel clean. The feeling of scalding water and abrasive surfaces and sobbing in the shower.

This city:

It’s degrading names, and derogatory terms, and shame. Of isolation. A conviction of corrupting anyone near me.

This city:

It’s finding false redemption in hatred masquerading as love. It’s waking up on the floor of a hotel room mostly dead. It’s anger at not being allowed to die.

This city:

It’s survival. It’s forgiveness. It’s redemption. It’s healing. It’s mine.

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