only 20

(I should have known better)

in the time taken to
ask questions and
look as if we were listening to each
other, I started to realise
you were never very good at
loving yourself.
behind closed doors and
kitchen countertop kisses
I’d seen behind this gaze, a
man in need of
you held for your own comfort
in the sheets of pearly white
tears my lifeless body
on the verge of breaking
moulding my pieces back together
with eyelash glue from
another woman’s purse.

you sit on the bathroom floor
sighing, as
I hold your head in my lap
your bruised knuckles upon my
thigh my breath quietly quivering,
hoping that stick would not
turn pink.
a sigh of relief escapes my lips, as
you turn your back to me that night
you cry into the pillow
through salty water dripping off your face
you tell me
how repulsive
I’ve made you feel.
as if
the world had taken away a
blessing. the marks on my neck and
your nails in my skin
would say otherwise.
how lovely it was,
to be used for ransom and
thrown away by
how beautiful
that your love was
hidden in the brush strokes
of your fists
against my stomach

(how did I not see before
that a kiss on my bruised body
was of a guilty conscience
and a man unable to live with himself?
why did I not leave sooner?)

Featured image courtesy of author.


In a dream, you saw a way to survive, and you were filled with joy.


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