Alisa Lu | Art by Jennifer Lee

I stayed in my home,

that dark, safe, place

filled with your warmth,

the thumping of your heart

reverberating through your bones.


For nine months

I was safe there—

the closest I could be to you,

the farthest I could be from you.


I was evicted.


I spent nine days resisting,

clinging onto that string that tied me to you,

to that warm place where I couldn’t see your eyes

blazing with hatred,

or hear your voice

ripping open your lungs.


You brought me here,

to those cold walls

filled with your blood.

For nine years

I was yours.


You taught me to slice tomatoes,

stir eggs, 

cook them together—

flavors clashing

aftertaste burning

You burst open my door and


I see your blazing eyes and


My ears are ringing and


We wash it out with dessert,

sickening sweet sundaes

topped with blood red cherries.


I know you love me, but

it’s hard for me to love you.

I taste our blood in my mouth,

I feel it running through my veins.


You approach me with your arms spread wide.

How does it taste? 

Sweet, right? I picked the cherries 

just for you.


I find comfort in your arms.

It reminds me of home,

that safe place

where I could be close to you

and far from you too—


that foreign place

I can barely remember.