These are the memories that I never had, memories my body now has without me, reenacting long-ago events patiently until I know.

Hands pressing on my throat, choking me. Thumbs digging in. Pressing too lightly to kill me but hard enough to leave imprints that I feel fifteen years later, seventy-five miles away.

Hands pressing their way between my legs, tracing me like felt by the square inch, burning their trails in to resurface decades later. I see their afterimage behind my eyelids, like fireworks after the bang: persistent, painfully loud, but distant.

Hands pushing me open when I resist, sharp fingers, unstoppable ghosts. I used to think they were ghosts; the result of denial and cluelessness both. Ghosts lying on top of me if I slept in the wrong spot on the bed, ghosts I dreamed were trying to assault me, ghostly cold presences haunting my room.

Later I learned more, learned to recognize body memories for what they were: rememberance of things past, hiding in my body. Subterranean clues to what happened long ago. Stories unfurling with the curling of leaves.

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