Not Across the Universe

Words come flowing out
things I might have said
years before but bit back

I’m sitting on the couch
we bought for our new house
my tongue shredded by pain
lips bloodied the way my arm was
when you dug your nails in
heart cut partly through
in little ribbons
like those Mexican paper flags
that hang from the strings
in the restaurant we go to
every Sunday after church

My words hang in the air
between us, you unable to hear
both of us crying

You say, you promised to stay
when I was old, I say
I don’t feel safe with you
and I leave, and leave again
multiple times as I retrieve
the rest of my stuff that
you hadn’t yet destroyed.

Fast forward three years
I’m sitting on another couch,
my beloved’s, it’s later night,
I have come to your space
to tell you difficult things,
things I need from you
I am crying suddenly
flashing on the memory
of the other time
and you look at me
and I see that this time
I am heard, you fully hear me
and in that single moment
you heal my heart
from all those years
she told me
that I was nothing.

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