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Your betrayal lives
a secret life inside of me,
stealing oxygen in places
where I should be freely breathing
and tunneling its way
through bone and tissue
disturbing my peace
and making me hollow
and leaving poisonous residue
of itself everywhere.
I hear its voice when I think
I’ve saved up a square inch
of silence to rest in, throwing
sharp icicles down my bloodstream.
It is your voice saying things
you only say when I’m not listening.
It is your voice mastering
the intonations that make
the lies so damn convincing.
It is your laughter,
hidden under the plastic sympathy
the perfect shade of lipstick pink
while I suffer.
It is the merciless static noise
of your absence after you
dealt the coup de grace,
when all it would have taken
to stop the bleeding was
a few sorry words from you.
I’ve drunk the cocktail of
your toxicity and wrongly thought
that I could handle it.
Now it runs rampant in my veins
screaming obscenities and
switching on all the lights.
The mere sight of you triggers
seizures in my inner peace
and all the bonds we used to share
are brought into question.
All the ways you’ve used me
hemorrhaging onto the spaces
where I used to hold
the inner child that once
believed she’d always love you.
Is that what happens when
you swallow forgiveness
without stopping to taste it?
It doesn’t do what the label
on the bottle says it would.
The mind regurgitates it
in slimy, undigested pieces
soaked in acid and
indistinguishable from the hatred
it was supposed to cure.

“Skinny Love” by photographer Sabrina Cichy


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