you won’t see.

image © Mariann Martland

i held you so tight  

like i hadn’t already let you go.

take off my makeup and you

can see craters

illuminating my shadows.

but you don’t.

it’s like my war wounds look new to you

each time.

and i can’t keep explaining them away

in pretty lies.

you’ll never understand, or see.

so you hurry to the few remaining

patches of smooth ground

with your paper thin excuses for why

you won’t see.

only, the paper that holds my stories

is thick and full

of meaning

and would cut you

deep, if i ran it over your skin.

collecting your pools of blood

isn’t the role i choose to bear now.

my injuries will not be covered over

by your pain any longer

and i don’t carry bandaids.

out of sheer exhaustion

i allowed you to

hold your version of me, tight,

expecting to be suffocated,

by you

just a little more.

instead, i pretended

life hadn’t happened,

you hadn’t abandoned me,

i hadn’t fought hard

to let you go,

and i squeezed a little life

back into the hollow spaces between us.

only you’ll never allow yourself to see

into the cavities where it formed,

you cannot hold on to more than my veil

or feel it fully, see it whole.

and i have no survival left in me

to keep hold of this lapse of life,

so i watched it evaporate into the air

as i let it, you, go


i hope someone breathes in

this life, whole, tonight.

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