23 Aug 2016



Listen, let me stick around. Let me stay and lick my wounds. I’m used to watching the sun rise and the bruises bloom just under my translucent skin, together, purple to green to yellow... the sun can never compete. 

Listen, I’ll make you coffee every morning, red hot and black as heart. We’ll sit around and pretend nothing ever happened when everything did. Two sugars, if you please. And a slice of stale pizza too? Your eyes the color of periwinkles, mine, the centerpiece of knuckle-punch flowers, swollen but seeing. 

Listen, I’ll let you call me sugar. I’ll let you bite into my skin, your exuberance teasing the blood out of plum flesh, dripping like last night’s potent cocktail of drool, vomit, and vodka, dripping from your stubbly jaw. Your 5 o’clock shadow stays put past 2 a.m., and my inner thigh is covered in stubble burn and goosebumps.

Listen, I’ll let you be the man and protect me. Board up my broken windows, so the neighbors don’t see grimaces of pain, hear muffled whimpers. Work on the plumbing to fix running water, excruciatingly hot as the skin on my fingertips peel off. Build in little ashtrays in every room, so they will never know you have a living, breathing, moving… malleable ashtray. 

Listen, I’ll let you steal my innocence. The sarcasm is on slow roast, like the meatloaf in the oven. The juices drip, as do the words, and the loaf cooks on the inside, like my self-worth. Tip the plate over, breakfast on the linoleum, light, fluffy, stinking to high heaven by the time I get back in the door, but of course, the scramble was a smidgen too dry. Recriminations, apologies, blame like the sharp edge of a blade. Slices on skin that won’t see light of day, organized, in perfect little rows. The meatloaf and my esteem, past redemption.

Listen, I’ll cover myself up. I’ll apologize for the leery eyes on the street and my boss behind his desk. I’ll pay with my body, and let people pretend not to see the red welts on the neck tomorrow morning. Did my d├ęcolletage offend your possessiveness? Did milky thigh peek out when I crossed my legs? Did my belly piercing flash when I was fixing my hair? Let me apologize. I submit to the obloquy. I’ll fix it. 

I’ll fix it all. Just let me stay.  


P.S: Do NOT let ANYONE treat you this way. ANYONE