Two Poems by Shannon O’Connor

tw: for physical abuse mention I run my hands
over where you left your mark
I try not to flinch as I remember;
it happens,
you didn’t mean to.

I try to convince myself of that
as I choose long sleeves
long pants
just to be sure
I’m covered up.

We don’t want any questions
they won’t be as forgiving.
I ignore the nagging in my head
he’s angry
he has every right to be

he’s been through a lot
it’s his way of dealing
he should be allowed to let it out
this is normal right?

He’s just rough
and bigger than me
he doesn’t mean to
I explain
when my sleeves rode up

I bumped into something at work
I’m clumsy
I’m so convincing
I start to believe it myself.


I feel like I can’t breathe
that all the air
is being slowly sucked from the room.
I was okay,
going about my day
but then someone said your name
asked about you
and the world froze.
They kept speaking
but everything went quiet
and I thought about you.
It wasn’t voluntary
but there you were
memories flooding my brain.
Each kiss
each touch
each bruise
each I’m sorry.

-I didn’t know the aftermath would be as bad



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