• 805lit

Open Her Up, by Ouanessa Nana

Updated: Aug 24

This piece is part of our “Tails + Tales” teen summer writing initiative inspired by the 2021 national summer reading theme chosen annually by the Collaborative Summer Library Program.


I thought monsters only lived in fairy tales that

My mother used to read to me at night.

Not in the bloody scissions of my coronary arteries or

the sidewalks I used to jog on early in the morning.

I dragged myself out of a soulless cavity, his charred, decaying words still cling to the frail parts of my skin.

They beg me to speak out, tell my chilling story, but my heartache sits shaped like a wrecking ball in my throat.

I won’t flinch at the roughness of their fingertips when they demoralize my fragments of shame.

And when I do finally speak, my broken pieces are left on the hardwood floor of my childhood bedroom only to be swept clean by the ghosts in my bed.

They’ll go whisper my misfortune to others and tell you how messed up I am but they won't tell you how they left me there.

My tears are still stuck underneath their fingernails.

Ouanessa Nana is a 19 year old teen who loves to write poetry! She has been doing it for as long as she could remember and will always claim it as her first love. Her Instagram is @ouanessa.sings. In her free time, she sings, writes, and dances.


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