If we had the chance to look each other in the eyes again,
I would choose silence and observation. I would analyse
The climbing scaffold of my bones, the texture of suffering
And endurance, the language unspoken beneath my skin.
I would listen to the heartbeat that always draws her back in.
Trying to understand the suppression of what has been done.
She looks at me as if I were her mirror-image.
And she sees what she doesn’t like in me.
Ejects it. Projects it. The administrator of self-punishment.
And I try to love her desperately, to become compatible.
I ignore the screeching of my own body when she contaminates me
With herself. What I think of as love stems from a different source.
I cannot fall into her arms without waking up in a stranglehold.
I shrink everything within me, my tongue, my freedom, my spine.
And she speaks of adoration whilst I crouch within me, beat myself up.
Chemistry spreads in manifold ways, a bond that deviates into antagonism.
Did I conjure her up myself? Was she what I deserved? Every time
She stares into the glass within my eyes I see everything splintered and scarred.
“The Ladies Waldegrave” by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)