She will not be.

She will not be.

The hum of a call on the other line.
Time suspended, she waits with bated breath.
“It’s what we feared,” she barely hears him say.
Her body is numb, but for the pit in her stomach.
They try to break her, but she will not be broken.

Fear presses in around her,
Like concrete walls built to crush her.
Panic grips her very being,
Like shackles that bind her wrists.
They try to break her, but she will not be broken,

The color red runs through her veins,
Not her lifeblood, but an unwelcome guest.
She looks out over the Torrey Pines and wonders,
“Was this the only way?”
They try to break her, but she will not be broken.

Her once-long tresses cling to her hands.
Like sand that covers the seashore,
So does her hair fill the sink.
Then comes the retching.
Like waves that break along the strand,
So does the nausea surge against her.
They try to break her, but she will not be broken.

She averts her gaze from the mirror,
Afraid she will not recognize the hollow, empty eyes that look back at her.
It’s a thing she’s feared the most,
A stranger in the body she once knew so well.
They try to break her, but she will not be broken.

Anger fills her from the tip of her toes to the top of her naked head.
She inhales lies, a gasp for breath, for understanding,
“This is all your fault,” she hears them say.
Sadness seeps into every inch of her frail and aching form.
They try to break her, but she will not be broken.

At last, the rest she’s craved.
She shuts her eyes, for they are too heavy to carry.
Her last fleeting memory, the fluorescent glow above.
They try to break her, but she will not be broken,

A cold blade, the steady rhythm of her slowed breathing.
None of this she will remember.
A cut here, a stitch there.
Her body tells the tale of her sorrows.
They try to break her, but she will not be broken.

Awake, oh dreamless sleeper.
Feel the rain upon your cheeks,
The unforgiving November chill, that threatens to bite.
They try to break her, but she will not be broken.

Here she is again, marking unfamiliar territory,
This cold and vacant chamber.
Her head rests upon hard plastic,
Hands extending upward.
He leaves his mark imprinted on her chest, on her heart.
They try to break her, but she will not be broken.

Beams slice the air in front of her like so many knives,
Penetrating the skin she no longer feels.
One one-thousand, two one-thousand.
She is the keeper of time.
They try to break her, but she will not be broken.

Her captor shares no gentle cadence,
Only a graceless groan to pierce her ears.
Three one-thousand, four one-thousand,
Breathe in, breathe out.
They try to break her, but she will not be broken.

When finally her body and mind scream out as one.
As suddenly as it began, so it ends.
She emerges from the wreckage,
Counts her limbs, scarred and bruised, but still in tact.
They try to break her, but she will not be.

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