In the soles of your boots

I followed you, piecemeal, down the stairs.

Down and down you went

unaware that your cruelty held me hostage.

It’s not an exaggeration

to say that you were a psychopath

and I am certain that there are others who suspected.

Only a shell could protect against your trespass

and I have one that would

make a mollusk weep with envy.

For years I was as empty as a widow’s uterus

but in your absence I find myself filling with blood and air.

All that is vital, all that you withheld

is mine, at last, to feel.

I could never return to your side

knowing now what it is to live.

There’s a crawl space inside of me

just big enough for a clenched fist.

Within its clammy walls I keep

all my feelings, good and bad.

I wear this space as if it were a badge.

It is a point of pride that I survived you

and whatever comes next

I know that I shall be the better for it.

I have yet to unravel the scars

that you laid with each betrayal.

Sometimes it feels as if they are all that I am.

Then I remember that you are dead

and I take another faltering step forward.

I hope that in quietus you remember

the pain that you alone have inflicted

and I hope that it haunts you,

at least as long as you have haunted me.

This is another old poem reworked. Below is a reading of yesterdays poem I hope the link works fingers-crossed.


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