Cover Photo: Tallulah Pomeroy
Tallulah Pomeroy

From the Abuse Survivor’s Workbook

“I do not tell him that sometimes when he touches my breasts I feel very sad.”

Exercise: Where Are You Now?

Aren’t they all red?How does it feel when you have sex?

Where have you gone?Where have you gone?

Everything is good,Hello, how are you?Work is hectic, but I like it.Well, that’s the story.

Exercise: Where Are You Now?

Yes, we have the right number. No, we cannot give you any results.

Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex

It is weird to date someone who has been abused

. I’m not happy,You are so beautiful,

Exercise: Where Are You Now?

Wow, this place is enormous,I told you, Mom. They have everything here.

Look, I could hang the kids’ backpacks here. It’s nice,

No, it is too expensive.

We do, too!She is so strong, that woman,

, I just need to feel close to someone,

Oh, thanks, really, but I’m not taking a lunch today.Why should I have to lie to you?Who are you?Where have you gone?


Exercise: Where Are You Now?

What is a lump?A lump is the compact mass of a substance.

My head hurts,but I don’t know whyAll my sweaters have snags in them.You’re not listening,This is not about the nail.

People need to feel heard,You can’t parrot words,Doesn’t have to be about your sex life,

How much are you living on every month?About $200K give or takeUnless you got me pregnant,If you got me pregnant, then I’d have to stay home.I’m not getting you pregnant just so you don’t have to say no to your mother.

You will need to fill the holFill it with light.

Exercise: Where Are You Now?

Write about a recent experience where you communicated with a loved one.

I knew you would do this, I have known it all along.B--I knew you would do this, I have known it all along . . . You told me once you have always run. You are leaving because of your past. But I am not your past, B. I know you have been hurt, I know you are damaged, but I love you. I will always be here, waiting, I’m not always going to be around, you know.

Exercise: Where are you now?

It is not nothing,

I got it from a fight in a bar over a woman.

Don’t do this.

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Arielle Robbins studies fiction at the low residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Arielle Robbins is a writer, activist, and organizer. Arielle's collection of short stories, “Nothing To Do With Explosions,” won best creative thesis at UC Davis, and she received a Tomales Bay Fellowship, and was a two-time finalist for WritingXWriters. Her work can be found at Catapult, 99 Pine Street, and elsewhere. She is working on her first novel.

More About: Fiction, Short Story