were you in pain?
did you let her tend to your wounds?
did you let her tears wash away the blood?
did you listen as she asked you why?
why, why, why?
why do you let yourself get hurt this way?
how can you love something that rips your skin apart?
something that leaves you aching and bruised?
did you listen?
did you let her words move you?
did you let her cries become yours?
her fears become yours?
did you let her change you into something that you could not recognize?
were you in pain?
or was she?
you were too cruel to love for a long while
your heart was not as beautiful as your smile.
but you had me, despite everything
because when you would sleep
you would exhale softly and sink into the bed
covers pulled up to your chin
eyelashes resting like feathers on your skin.
You were so beautiful I used to think you had to be kind too.
(“be careful, baby, nobody looks evil in their sleep.”
If only I had listened to my mother.)
all I know is, I see so much light in you.
Like a day that never sees it’s night.
And I wish I could offer you more than my darkness.
you were a dream i could never fully wake from
and I’m sorry for how that made me love you
shallow and frail.
A ghost I carried from bar to bar
asking the boys there to love me
despite the specter.
Asking them to break the ribs
where I had carved your name
so I could be free.
But their hands could never get beneath my skin
and all they could offer were apologetic whispers
as they moved above me.
"Tell me I am beautiful," I would say
"Tell me that I am lovely."
"Tell me that I will be okay."
And they would call me the sun
they would call me a beautiful day
and my eyes a cloudless sky.
But in the dark, alone
where they left me
I would rage and storm.
a violent hurricane
beating my body against the walls
tearing the soiled sheets from my bed.
I’ve always stormed so much
I blew you away
and you never did come back
My heart is always asking, “Why can’t you love that boy? The one who would hang the stars for you and spend all night rearranging them into your favorite constellations.”
My head is always quick to respond, “Because I learned that he’s just a boy that lost him mom too young. And he loves blindly and recklessly, even if it consumes him. And I didn’t want to consume him.”
and I went on believing them for a long time, using their reasons as my own.
Blaming our ending on so many different things.
But now I can admit, we were just shit people when we were together
you brought out the violence in me, and I brought out the weakness in you.
I’ve had the same conversation over and over again,
with other lovers,
"If I didn’t want to see him with someone else I would still be with him."
"It doesn’t bother you at all?"
"No, I’m the one who left him, remember?"
"Yeah, but didn’t you love him?"
"Of course I did, more than I should have."
And I imagine if we ever cross paths again I will have the same conversation with you.
"I thought you loved me."
"I did, more than anything."
"If I had stayed, I wouldn’t be me anymore I’d just be yours"
Reason to leave
Reason to stay
sounds like gunshots had me cowering.
but loving you is like fighting a war, things will never be the same.
everything sounds like gunshots these days
but the ringing in my ears does not scare me half as much as you do.
you hurl words like grenades at everyone you pass
and I know you love me
but your aim is careless
and shrapnel is shrapnel
you even catch yourself in your cross hairs
that’s what you’d like to believe right?
that I’ll freeze to ice cubes for you to bring out for lemonade in the summer.
Maybe you’ll take me out of the freezer and run me along her skin,
in a silly attempt to melt me into her pores
so she can grow into something you recognize.
you swore you would never hurt me
so please don’t ask me to stay
Love is pain
that’s the only way I can reason our how we are the way we are.
a burning love that is still in flames
But I cannot be with you now.
I will not be a soul who does the same thing life after life.
I had you, we had our time together. A lifetime of it.
and we should leave our love in the bones of our bodies that felt that love.
I loved you the minute I met you, there was no transition, no falling for you.
My soul knew your soul.
I already knew you. You were home. You were comfortable.
and that is not what I need now.
We had our time, and it passed with our bones into dust.
It’s my time now.
but most of them are only monsters for a portion of their lives.
most monsters grow into human beings before they can do much damage.
people are monsters when they do not know how to love, or even when they have lost all that they love.
Most children are monsters.