Response to S. Benaim

A spoken-word poem in response to Sabrina Benaim’s “How to Unfold a Memory”

Hannah Blake

It will always hurt,

but truth hurts less when you don’t throw it around.

“Truth hurts less when it’s not parading around in front of us.”

So the truth hurts less when it’s hidden, with your tongue trained to sit still.

But where your tongue succeeds, your hands fail.

Shaking as truth vibrates within, wanting to slice open your skin to be seen.

You can’t keep a secret, and yet you try in vain

To make it hurt less right now.

But it lingers. 

It lurks unseen in dark corners, out of sight, but existent.

It will always hurt. 

You say that the echo drives you mad. 

But there would be no echo if the truth wasn’t dropped off a gaping cliff’s edge in an attempt to cleanse yourself of it.

And yet that’s what you did.

That’s what I do.

I could be pressed against a wall of truth, with the stones ruining my forearms with scratches, and instead of scaling the wall,

I will turn my back.

If I can’t see it, is it really there? 

You see,

It will always hurt.

But the truth hurts less when you procrastinate it.

The truth hurts less when it’s against my back than when it’s under my palms as I try to climb over it. 

The truth hurts less when you pretend it doesn’t even exist,

Because what doesn’t exist can’t hurt.

The way you capture the complexity of the way the truth always finds its way home,

Ready to burst into flames, burning bridges and taking me down with them,

Hits home.

You speak truth about how I ignore truth,

Who’s to say I won’t ignore this truth as well?

It’s easier to ignore, and easy is appealing.

But by choosing easy, it will always hurt.
It will always hurt.