This Is Not a Love Story, She Had Been Fragile Since the Day She Was Born

By Avis Ko

This Is Not a Love Story

She never thought she was an open book.
A plain cover created by her skin
Was bound with a sweet smile, a harmless look.
Yet she gave him permission to delve in.
On page seven, he skimmed her fingertips,
Holding her hand, giving bliss to her day.
On page forty-one, he bookmarked her lips,
Making her gasp, stealing her words away.
He thumbed through a page explaining her voice,
And she couldn’t help but hum a verse for him.
And though he read her last page with no rejoice
She faithfully fulfilled his every whim.
Then, he tucked her on the shelf labeled “LUST”
She’s been there ever since collecting dust.


“An Open Book” © imanka (

She Had Been Fragile Since the Day She Was Born

She had been fragile since the day she was born.
She did not have the nimble, delicate limbs of a dancer;
She had never broken a bone,
And yet she was fragile.

Her brother made fun of her frizzy curls
She sobbed tearfully
Like she had scraped her knees on the playground cement.

When she was caught telling a lie,
Her teacher insisted she had never been so disappointed.
The guilt from the scolding left her with voices in her head,
Like a never-satisfied parent
Yelling at her, judging her,
Leaving her with her head hung down in shame.

Her friend confessed to the violent turmoil in his home:
His mother struck him mercilessly with a hairbrush
Like it was a hammer beating a bent nail.
His step-father touched him
In ways a person should never be touched.
The sickness of human nature left her ill
With a pounding headache and incessant nausea
Like she had been struck with the flu.

Absorbing everything,
Empathizing in any circumstance, with every story.
She walked with the unsteady gait of an overburdened horse.
The pangs of the world’s grief overcame her
Like waves of a merciless shore
That refused to abate,
Like a veteran’s nightmare
Still haunting him after the war.

Her knees scraped with a brother’s crude words,
Her hands cut with the knives of inhumanity,
Her mind overrun by consuming self-loathing,
Her immune system unable to fight the disease of parents’ twisted love,
Her body drowned in the ceaseless tides of agony,
She did not have the nimble, delicate limbs of a dancer,
She had never broken a bone,
And yet she was broken.

Avis_KoAvis Ko is a recent graduate of Dana Hills High School where she was a part of their award-winning Slam Poetry Team. She enjoys drawing, medicine, and poetry. She will be attending Pitzer College in the summer as the part of its Joint Medical Program and intends on continuing to pursue her passion for spoken word.

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