Erich Michaels revisits the past



I don’t know where to start. She was the first girl to really make out with me and she was really good at it. Us, just a couple freshmen in the inner city. She took me from zero to 90 in four-point-three-seconds. Just when we were rounding the final turn she pumped the brakes. I was breathless. Confused. So unbelievably grateful that she chose me, but devastated that she’d brought me to heaven’s door, and said she just wanted to be held. I figured she was making sure I was the right guy, so I held her until she said she had to go home. I walked her home, holding hands, and I finally felt like I had worth. She had seen something in me, something even I couldn’t see. The next time we hung out my childhood friend was over and she was different. She looked at me like…

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When you repress your trauma to save your mama…-Dom


I always thought you were perfect… your skin, your eyes… your face… and even your lies…

I idolized your deceit… I was your keeper, shackled by an image even you never lived up to, I was always looking to be your favorite, graveling at your feet. But how could I compete with your need to have a man between your sheets?

Yea I said it… and yea you read it… if you thought this was going to be a nice piece mommy… forget it….

I blamed everything that happened on HIM…. but the abuser was you… as a mother you had all the power… i know that now… why would you let him take that from you?

Was it easier to watch him hit me? And  make all those sexually charged accusations… claiming to get me? Mom.. I was there before him… how could you forget me?

14…………………………… such a tender stupid age it’s been almost 15 years…. And i finally i am releasing my rage… all this had been bottled up… I don’t know how i am still alive……. But I finally decided saved myself… yea ma, i am ready to really survive…

But…… living a free life, comes with a bit of survivor’s remorse…., it makes my stomach turn that for 9 years I let that man be around my children… and I won’t lie I wasn’t forced. I was used to dealing with him… I was used to winning in the “fake happy family” olympics… and mom? You lit the torch…

You like to take shots at my character… when it is a lot like yours, which is why if you would just  listen to the facts… we could probably open so many closed doors

And then maybe can shut one… the one that houses all that shame. I should’ve never taken on the shame of a person that damaged me… dont worry i won’t say his name. Dont worry… i will never acknowledge him, or what happened again, this one is between me and you…. Stop trying to feed me excuses… maybe as a kid I wasn’t perfect but trust so much stemmed from the abuse… no every day was not rainy mom there was PLENTY of sunshine…It is just that I learned at a young age that I would come to your aid… the few times it really mattered, I  couldn’t count on you to come to mine… I wanted you to save me… and choose me first. But as a woman who had cancer at 26, and a mother who was too busy to really give a shit… it was traumatic, but i kinda was used to it… I just can not believe you wouldn’t help me because I was no longer a kid.

So, I repressed my trauma… to save you mama… to save you from the family drama… and for you not to even acknowledge what is without a doubt fact, my insides are hot with anger, I am my own personal sauna….

I look at my little girl, and I wonder if you ever really looked at me… and I feel that she deserves the world… I wonder if someone hurt my baby… I wonder what my reaction would be… I will never tell my daughter how much she burdens my life… I would never put my kids in a place to make tough ass decisions… and now thanks to you I am scared to be someone’s wife.

When you repress something traumatic… to keep your family dynamic the results are devastating….

I didn’t want to make everyone hate me… and mom… you could still save me…

But if you don’t i will still be just fine….

I didn’t want to be a victim… I DON’T EVEN WANT TO EVEN CONVICT HIM…. at this point if authorities pressed me I would just lie…

I didn’t ask him to read my poems… so you really didn’t have to show him… Mom it wasn’t like I even said his name… I didn’t speak my truth, to get a response… but since he wanted to identify HIMSELF BY CALLING ME… he can share some of HIS shame..

The Color of Beach Sand- Kindra M. Austin

Kindra M. Austin

A Global Divergent Literary Collective

We had you pushed into the furnace;

spoiling organs and

leaking skin were

burned away.

Your pulverized bones

resemble beach sand in



Abandoned the wagon


Cos I’m a goddamned tyrant,

missing you, Mother—

been consuming for two

twelve hours, and I

will continue to imbibe until my barbican

heart has been razed.

This early morning,


I’ll make it to market by noon—

I learned how to function from you.


are you proud of me,


I ask your ashes kept in

keepsake urns. Ashes—

granules, the color of

beach sand.

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Family Values- 1Wise-Woman

The family values three squares at the table
A nightly ritual force fed to the masses
To bring us together in peace and harmony
Share the day around our daily bread
Bred from chaos
A show more riveting than any on tv
Girl watches from a different place at the table
As plates fly
Shattered shards pierce her eye
She doesn’t cry
Just shrinks down in the chair
Lowering her head
There’s work to be done on the gravy river
A mountain of potatoes set for excavation

In wild cacophony Man explodes
Or is that the chair hitting the floor
Or the cries of Boy as Man gets bigger
And more dinnerware flies
Paper and plastic would be a safer choice
Girl wonders why
Invisible Woman didn’t think of that
There must not be any coupons in this weeks flyer
While Invisible Woman struggles to decide
Whether to clean up the repast Man hates
Or attempt to defend Boy that Man hates
Dog solves Invisible Woman’s predicament
It’s his lucky day as he laps meatloaf
In oblivious joy
So she chooses Boy
Girl remembers
This show from last week
History and tv repeats itself and
Refereeing is a lesson in vanity
Like Girl trying to build
A potato wall that holds gravy

Invisible Woman
So fragile and frail
Doesn’t make a good match in the ring
Obscurity appends her ineptitude
As the punches
Go right through her
So she sends Boy to his room
Imploring Man his food is getting cold
And dangles another beer in his face
He pushes it and her away
So Boy can get what’s coming
Girl frowns a little and puts down her fork
As the gravy river breaks through the potato bank

Boy is a stealthy foe
He lures Man with nefarious words and conduct
That promises to get under his skin
The collateral damage is much easier to take
When he can control when and where
To take the blow or make plates and fists fly
Boy with the bruises on the outside
Stays inside his room performing the episode
Destroying his toys
And screaming at his stuffed bear
You useless piece of shit
While stomping it flat
Girl finally gives up
The potato wall is completely breached
By gravy overflow

Invisible Woman closes the door
And gives Man another beer
Is dinner over
It must be because
Dog is satiated
Snoring in the corner
Boy is locked away in his room
Curled up in a ball
Man is outside drinking
Vociferating the lawnmower
Throwing tools at the wall
Invisible Woman is shaking and cleaning
Incognizant to the glass stuck in her feet
Girl with the bruises inside
Stays at the table defeated
And can’t get the fucking potatoes to hold
Because gravy and tears
Don’t form the right consistency

Introducing New Blood Into Ink Curator Devika Mathur: A breakfast of memory

Devika 1

Sky tripping oranges and bars of star-dust

falling in our frolic skirts.

My sister, I conjured the sustenance of despair and morality

with your apple pie and the almond milk shake.

I churned your spotted skin into my minty breaths

making our bodies glow in the collision of the moon.

I heard mama cry and my cat frowning on the neighbours

when my back was scratched and segmented into tiny fragments.

I remember we did not eat our Dosa or any other fancy dinner for multitudinous days

oh, my sister a week passed by in disconsolate tanned knots of your memory.

And I am still a shivering, paradox of myth.

Bifurcated, haunted.

Devika resides in India and apart from educating English she enjoys reading and writing anything raw and dark perhaps. A hater of hypocrisy and a staunch believer in love she loves solitude and often dances to express her emotions.
Her work has been published in Visual Verse, The Wagon Magazine, Duane’s Poetree, Sick lit mag, Indian Periodicals among various others.
You can read more of her writing at My Valiant Soul

Blood into Ink: Submissions

What is Blood into Ink? It is a safe space for survivors of abuse and related trauma to share their experiences, yes. But I feel it necessary to invite those of you who love and supply emotional support to a survivor to read our blog, and express yourselves, too. Because abuse/trauma often does bleed into relationships outside of the Hell House.

If you are interested in submitting to Blood into Ink, you may do so here.