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.