Best of the Net 2011  

Mostly to uncover the reality of my soothing brand of sickness

I called a dangerous man my husband and something inside me loved it, loved the way each day he killed me a little more, killed himself a little more. There were ways of believing everything he said. Sometimes it meant folding my thoughts into tight squares with sharp edges that nicked my tongue as I held them underneath. Sometimes it meant hiding parts of myself in pissy alleyways and abandoned parking lots where they got slept on and rained on, pushed around in shopping carts or made a doorway on some tired body's flimsy house, so that I ended up a vagina with half a heart and no deep breaths. He never wanted or missed me but he wanted to, his brutal attachment burning the inside of me like an etching, toxic and harsh in its carefully planned beauty. I almost believed I could take it. One day I thought I couldn't fight anymore and then a sudden shift: I hustled a latticework of craving between blows. I unlocked my chorus of archetypal women from their chains. They rubbed their raw wrists with aloe and set to work.

- Khadijah Queen (from In Posse Review)