relationships

Out with the Loathing, In with the Benevolence

 

The pain of being left behind has lingered inside you for years, years, years.

 

So you thought the patrons berating me weren’t bad enough, nuff, nuff.

 

I had open wounds all over my body.

 

And you dumped a bucket of salt on them.

 

You knew perfectly well how hurt I was before that.

 

Yet you tie a leash on my neck and commanded me to listen

 

Like the dog I was when I barked back at you.

 

 

 

No matter what my decision was, I was going to lose to you.

 

My attachment to you was the perfect gun for you to fire

 

Because it was loaded with the tablets that nearly did you in.

 

On that fateful day, you survived and I thought that true love was out of my reach.

 

You would have had the last laugh, but several days later, the joke’s on you.

 

I’m someone else’s now so tough luck and good riddance to bad rubbish.

 


 

You say you’re free of me,

 

Yet your memories of me have locked you up

 

and thrown away the key.

 

 

I know that because you have loads of trouble letting go of the past.

 


 

You can vent ‘til the cows come home that I never
made time for you, you, you!

 

Everything has to be about me, me, me!

 

But that was only the surface you scratched.

 

That’s the furthest you ever went.

 

It says more about you than me.

 

Hell, a beefcake could clear his schedule for you better than I can.

 

 

But his chivalry might be aggressive mimicry.

 

 

 

If he breaks your heart, it ain’t my problem.

 

Now that I’m out of your reach, you can’t touch me.

 

I’m mingling with the losers like I’m dancing in a nightclub in Italy.

 

It was a wakeup call to screw your shade

 

Because one of them loves everything about me.

 

 

It’s not looking the other way. It’s enjoying the person I was born to be.

 

 

 

 

Every day I don’t look you up online

Nor read your old messages, my memories of you hurt less and less.

While I can visualize you a decade from now

Still being stroppy about the delusion that I never cared for you.

Who knows? You could call me a cunt and still claim part of you loves me.

And you’re sorry it had to be this way.

 

But… fuck no! Let’s be real. You’re not sorry. No aspect of you loves me.

 

 

You played the sarcasm card on me. So how about a taste of your own medicine for a change?

Good luck becoming a psychologist with the attitude of a wack job.

Good luck getting that degree while you throw a fit on every single assignment you get.

Good luck handing that very same garbage you threw at me to a couple getting a divorce.

I can’t wait to see a patient badmouth you on Reddit and turn you into a court jester.

Maybe I did learn a lesson from you after all;

Knowing when it is time to let go and never come back.

I'm Not Crying

Your single mother and cousins applauded you because they had faith I was the one.

It felt amazing to be this close to a family that I never met in the flesh.

Seeing them in the form of a discarded diary should have sounded an alarm in my head.

Your voice was so solemn and so soothing that it was like tasting a honeysuckle lollipop.

It was the best flavor I’ve ever had until I told you about the pauper I am providing for.

Then the flies showed up and I spent the next two months swatting them away.

 

One day, I licked the lollipop for the first time since then and tasted manure in the center.

I wondered why something so sweet could taste so repulsive.

But to my surprise, I was struck by the thought that I should have known.

You found yourself a guy you couldn’t wrap around your finger.

I didn’t see it until I was being bled dry and I could barely stay awake.

I had nothing to offer you when you claimed I did.

 

So why were you angry?

Why were you cranky?

I thought you were dandy

When you abstained from hanky panky.

 

All this time, you were still the hurt little boy that was raised in the Pope’s lyceum.

And turned into a lamprey the second I couldn’t give him anything to eat.

If you’re alone and free, I’ve already forgotten about you.

If you deserve better than me, you took the easy way out

By cheating on your test in life and got caught by the pauper.

You whimpered in fear of getting expelled and I was prepared for it.

 

The lamprey within broke free when I couldn’t look at you as the same person I loved before.

You fruitlessly faked your regret and pinned the blame on my ass to get out of jail free.

I’m not crying not because I didn’t care about you.

It was because I have the ending from that film memorized by heart.

It’s crazy, isn’t it? I know. I’ve watched it several times in French as a student.

 

I know my worth. I’m smiling in public while the sun is up

And brightening up the night when it goes down.

Thank you for putting words in my mouth when you were at your lowest.

Can you remind me again what major you’re pursuing?

Because you behaved like a patient in a case study at Arkham to me.

Wake up and smell the roses, my sweet summer child.

If you can’t stand to be where the bald eagles take flight,

Then park yourself on a bench and feed the pigeons.

You Don't Know Me (Reprise)

I’ve proven people wrong before.

You are hardly an exception.

 

You said I should be single for a long time.

Venting to my friends who were right about you was the real medicine.

And plenty of boys say I’m a catch before they get to know who I am.

 

You said I need to grow up.

But you’re unemployed and you bash a girl that was slandered by her best friend.

I love being told what a snotty person I am both at work and when I’m with you.

 

You said I’m self-absorbed and immature.

I saved an artist you cruelly envied on his birthday from a debt that was killing him slow.

It was the best 30 pounds I ever spent this week because it was out of selfless love.

 

You said you deserve so much better than me.

You tried to gaslight me into thinking that no living soul is good enough for me.

You took the easy way out instead of bearing with me a little longer.

 

You said I don’t understand how relationships work.

That’s all you’re right about because what one person doesn’t find sexy might attract another.

So neither do you.

 

You said a piece of you will always love me.

You were just kidding yourself when you said that.

Some therapist you’re turning out to be, dearest.

 

It felt hazy that I pondered for days or even weeks

On how I was going to repay you for your compassion and charity.

You don’t deserve to know what I had planned for you.

 

If you somehow worm your way back into my life,

I won’t be crying my eyes out like the time when a bastard was unfaithful to you.

Instead, I will stand my ground like a rock and kick you in the crotch.

 

You had one opportunity to take things slow so we could get along.

But you’re not getting a second chance because I don’t trust you.

Does this explain why you claim I don’t love you?

 

Fast-forward to last week to the part where I started anew with another dude.

He’s a scary one that could do more damage to you than me.

He loves me for everything you hate about me.

He’s the kind of boy whose easy to set aside time for

While I hit the books and explore the world because he’s along for the ride.

 

I couldn’t be more attracted to him every time he touches me to say, “You’re mine.”

It’s not because he desires to put me on a leash and lock me up.

It’s because he understands where I’m coming from and he too thinks “give and take” is crap.

Yet, he loves me like the Holy Grail because he tells me that I’m the best part of every day to him.

 

Relationships are like snowflakes.

No two function the same way because people are complex creatures with different standards.

Yours certainly were a mystery and to this day, I wondered how it all went wrong.

Our final days were a thin line between love and hate.

I already know which direction you went.

That’s one thing you and the monsters in my nightmares have in common.

You Don't Know Me

You poor little porcupine.

It startled me that you jumped in front of a moving car.

I wish I could be there for you and help in any way I can.

But your quills pricked my heart when I gave you a hug.

 

I cannot pull them out or I would die.

So I had to tolerate this pain and let it suck the life out of me little by little

While I think back to when our affection for each other mended every obstacle we faced.

 

The future was bright for us.

You couldn’t stand by to let me sink

So you taught me to swim.

I wanted to return the favor badly.

But I didn’t know how I could, sadly.

 

The possibilities were endless when we spoke of our dreams.

You could picture yourself coming to my rescue and growing old with me.

You couldn’t wait to hear my voice as if your favorite show was about to air on TV.

You made every effort to show that you loved me

Even if I have nothing to give you in return except my own.

 

A year passed and the storm clouds were brewing.

The weather grew colder and attitudes turned sour.

I was working hard and I felt out of breath.

You were studying hard and you turned inflammable.

 

“Where was I when you needed me most?” you asked “calmly” one day.

“I’ve been fighting my own battles all this time.” I tell you. “Life hasn’t been kind to me lately.”

Please, please bear with me. I’m tired and I’m scared. I’m going to be left to my own devices.”

“You need to make more time for me.” You scream. “Anyone would have abandoned you ages ago”

“If you’ve been gone for as long as you did. Is several hours with me too much to ask?”

“Answer me, you ignorant, pathetic excuse of a child!!! Grow up!!!”

I couldn’t with you leeching off of my aura.

You made it seem like the world hates me now.

So I packed up my things, spread my wings, and flew off into the rain.

It doesn’t matter how badly you are suffering yourself

If the prospect that I need to take care of myself too slips your mind.

 

I never asked you to help me.

You did so at your own volition.

If you didn’t want to in the first place,

You could’ve answered, “No thank you.”

We could’ve gone on with our lives either way.

 

But here you are.

You called me immature.

You called me a teen in an adult’s body.

You said I never bothered to do my share.

 

But my dear porcupine, have you taken a look at yourself?

Or better yet, look in a mirror?

You don’t see the newfound greed in your heart, but I do.

The scholars in my inner circles do.

 

Whose leg are you trying to pull?

My loved ones know exactly what you said.

They know how selfish you’ve been acting and what I could’ve done.

If you think no one can love me the way you did, you could not be more wrong.

 

I can admit when I am anyway.

You went to town on me like I didn’t know how to count.

And my only response to your passionate rave was goodbye.

In the blink of an eye, you disappeared from my mind. Your quills in my heart decomposed.

It was like you were just another customer that treats cashiers like their punching bags.

 

I wish you the best of luck with your own hardships.

And I hope your own wounds heal entirely.

But I am done with you.

I am done letting your vitriol take up space.

I am done listening to you disguise your resentment as facts.

I am done hating myself for what our love has come to.

My love for you was just practice for the next person.

Nothing more, nothing less.

 

Demeter was wise to tell me to stop getting involved.

Because I discovered that what you don’t know

Was how amazing it felt to give you up and do her work

Without a care in the world. After all, you don’t know me.

The Couch

 

 

There is a couch

            In a room.

            In a house.

            On a street.

            In a city.

            In a state.

            In a country.

That in this moment,

as I straddle you,

is my whole world.

 

 

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Summer

She lingered over her martini, an olive

floating gracefully in the gin,

vermouth and humor sitting dry on her tongue.

The summer evening slowly inched itself across the tablecloth

until the light from the candle at the center

hindered its crusade to bring on the dark.

I ran my hand over the flame, letting it lick the dent of my palm,

inching it further down until

the quick pain reminded me of that first pinprick of love

the night we met. Do you remember

the earthy smell of the apples slowly rotting under the leaves?

The world altering itself beneath our feet?

There was a sense of urgency back then, a need

for hastened fingertips and my lips to always be pressed to yours, 

skin rubbed in raw emotion until it burned like kindling 

in the night. Your eyes were golden

under the lanterns, your hands pale birds

swooping over your plate.

In that moment my skin burned for the ocean

of your curls across my hips,

the charm on your necklace to brush against my thigh,

the warmth of summer waves to pulse beneath my skin. 

 

Echoes



She let the glass fall with a flick of her wrist,
condensing the air to an acrid twitch
and rendering my vision to pinpoints as
I watch the reflection of her eyes careen to earth.
Will you reach your hand up to my cheek
and read the wounds you stashed inside my corneas?
Or will you stare at the echoes at our feet
until my hand reaches for yours
across this shattered display of moments?



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The Willow Tree Will Keep Our Secrets

 

There’s a certain appeal to the bruise colored haze at the bottom
of a six-pack. She sits
on the kitchen floor, knees bent
out at acute angles, shuddering shoulder
blades pressing against skin
until the fine human film splits
and she falls – splits down the center

like the bottom of the Colorado mountain valleys we hiked last spring.

The skin of her cheeks would flush in the brisk mornings and I, alone,
learned every shade of tension stretched through her shoulders
when she’d bend
over to wash her hair in the stream.
Like the willow tree bends: graceful

limbs reaching to touch a quivering reflection.

 



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The Skies Have Never Been Greyer

The skies have never been greyer.

I don’t heal from mental scars overnight.

Neither do you.

I overthink small problems and I wither when I make mistakes.

So do you.

It made me smile that we have our own inner demons.

It gave me the realization that I would not be alone.

 

When two broken hearts get together,

I often dream that they are matches made in heaven.

Because we understand where we’ve been

And why these circumstances made us the way we are.

But in every relationship, it is the furthest thing from paradise.

It won’t be the last time that we’d be walking on thin ice.

 

You are a sweetheart to me and I won’t forget the way you changed my life.

You’ve inspired me to meet icons whose wealth exceeds my wildest dreams.

You’ve helped me see that they’re human beings just like you and me.

You’ve given me pieces of you to keep me on my feet and explore uncharted territory in Wonderland.

You’ve compelled me to think that you wouldn’t ask for much as long as I said,

“I love you. My life wouldn’t be the same without you.” every night.

You constantly worry you lose me and that nothing in life goes right for you.

I keep trying to do my own thing while battling the sergeants that disagree with my decisions.

Don’t let our fickle position be added to my list of never-ending burdens.

 

Sometimes I stay the best of friends with people I was fond of before.

I’m never the “love them and leave them” type as long as I’m still on good terms with them

And remind myself that the past is in the past and no one is taking me anywhere.

Not that anyone could anyway as long as I make a living trying to tell nectarines and peaches apart.

Tonight when I talked about it with you, the way I opened up to you was like stepping in a land mine.

I don’t want to keep secrets from you so you wouldn’t fear I’d leave you to drown in a vale of tears.

But I’ll lock them up and throw away the key if I’m put on the spot like this.

Then I wouldn’t let you touch me the way you do now.

 

I’ve learned many hard lessons from falling in love and interpreting one’s intentions.

One taught me that it’s pointless to disguise odium as empathy.

One taught me that I can never choose what the love of my life gets offended by.

One taught me not to rely too heavily on my other half lest I lose my ability to solve problems.

One taught me not to sacrifice too much when making a commitment.

One taught me that there’s more to life than shotgun weddings and procreation.

One taught me to love who I am before I can give my light to others.

A lost boy who’s a year away from adulthood has given me his by sharing his own disappointments

Yet he still has the heart to resurrect the brotherly side that I had previously lost to a poisonous fable.

 

I know I want to love

And I want to be loved in return

But I am a free spirit and close friends mean the world to me.

I never see myself as a “give and take” kind of bloke

All because the little things in life are what matters more to me.

Who would want a lover like that?

 

I am sorry that you feel the way you do, but no matter what the future brings,

I’ll always love you and be indebted to your compassion.

I swear on the grave of my jewel and cousin, I wish you the best in life

Whether I spend mine with you or not.

The skies have never been greyer.