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Poetry by Kelsey Taylor

Dear Crime Shows

Thank you

for showing the world

a glamorized version of trauma.

For making rape

a fun mystery

for viewers to solve

because bad things always get fixed


on TV. Failing to accurately portray

the nights without sleep,

the triggers. For every trauma casualty

has something that will bring up an unwanted

flashback that places us back

in time, even if just for a moment.


It took me years 

to stop scanning

the lettering on white vans, to stop

my heart from racing

anytime a floorboard creaked.


A friend of mine says

she wishes for a more tragic life

one with stories of sexual or physical abuse

because that’s the way you help


people. That’s the way you get 

people to listen.

She did not know

that most victims

spend our whole lives

in silence. Too afraid to speak

for it’s only real

if we can say it out loud.


People like me don’t 

confess. Don’t admit

to what happened. I spent years

of my life learning

to not talk. Learning to

forget. I forgot how to speak

with any substance. Forgot

that I wasn’t supposed to

remember, this is the part you don’t

tell your viewers.


Actors solve crimes 

with easily packaged evidence

that always adds up,

always posts to someone, but


real monsters aren’t caught 

within the parameters of 42 minutes

they hide behind

disguises like father

or brother


and most of us wait

our entire lives

for a verdict that never comes.

I Wish:

To be a Snake, if only

for the ability to shed

my own skin.


To be a Goldfish, if only

for the ability to forget

in three seconds.


To be a Tiger, for

I’d have known that humans

are both predator and prey.

For the People Who Have Been Called Broken


You are not

broken. You are

jigsaw with a few missing

pieces. Abstract,

but they just don’t

get it.

Note: "Dear Crime Shows" was previously published by Words Dance.

Born and raised in the PNW, Kelsey Taylor is a former Figure Skater with a fear of falling who has traded in her skates for poetry slams and leotards for leather jackets. She is currently the Senior Poetry Editor of Persephone’s Daughters. She is the author of But I Haven’t Even Opened My Mouth, which can be purchased here.

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