Take It Or Leave It: A Poem

He became a rock in a thunderstorm

Because you vanished like pebbles in

The vastness of a wishful thinking pool.


Your rottenness had been so overt that

He became your counterpart, through you

He became good. I thought you came to me in

Different boats.


The red flag and the white.

One with caresses, the other with heaps.

I was convinced that caresses could never be

A bad thing. They didn’t hurt immediately.

They had echoes. Getting louder and louder

As my body grew older, as more hands touched

My skin. They had a language that had to be

Decrypted.Β  I thought you loved me, I thought

That was it and maybe you did, the only way you

Knew how, the only way you were taught,

I lay in bed with your demons, my brain wanting me to survive,

Telling me to get comfortable, speaking of halos, the battlecries

Drowning within my body.


He tightened his grasp around my jaw

And cursed me, or he didn’t come home,

Or he had never been there, never looking

At me as I spoke, walking away with my voice

Talking at the back of his head, chasing me around

The house, the cardio violence, to get me, shout and

Hit, hit and run, instilling fear into my texture.

I thought he must have been the devil, obvious,

Cards on the table.


I understood that one emotion can contain another,

One bothered by another, one taking up more space

Than the other, one counteracting another, trying to love

Whilst suffering, trying to love whilst incompetent, always

Losing to the inherited instincts of destruction, love remaining

Abstract, unreachable, not enactable, love transferred through

The languages they already spoke, mastered and defeated.

Take it or leave it landed on my skin.

woman wearing black top
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

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