How you manifested love

I thought I had to speak to her in a voice that wasn’t

My own. I was afraid that my violence might erupt.

I played everything nicely. Keeping her calm, her hand away

From her temples. I thought I must be so harmful looking

At her gestures, how tired and frustrated she was.


I didn’t understand why I was there with her then.

I saw all of her suffering and attributed it to me, my

Presence, in the room, out of her body. I’d study her face.

I never wanted to discover the same places that plagued her.

Kept her silent and obedient for so long. Struggling to breathe

Underneath the blanket warmed-up by his nudity.


She stared out of windows, contained by the frame.

She’d daydream and read her way out of this room.

In the afternoon she’d dissolve in her routine,

The repetitive misery, the assumed voicelessness, the colourful

Prison, the comfort that threatened to throttle her, bury her,

With her life unlived, I knew I had to dig for lessons that needed

To be learned.


I’d try to remember her body. The surface of her, incompatible

With the truth within her. I felt ejected, rejected and strangely loved.

I looked for it everywhere, love, in every particle, minimal gesture,

My own scent, the way I was dressed, how I was put to bed.

I’d find it. Despite her wounds, the depth of her trauma, I saw it shine

Towards me and I tried to keep it alive and so did she, concentrating

On things that’d grow in a different direction than the past we’d been

Subjected to, a fire that we’d invent for ourselves.

woman lying down on ground
Photo by Mu1eabnn Quang on

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