Tag Archives: pain

Tainted Love

You can leave me in the cold and like a loyal dog, I’ll stay. The dark can creep up on me and shroud me in its claws, but I’ll picture you and feel at home.

They shake their heads at me like I should know better, and I should.

But my heart beats for you and I can’t change the source of heat in my blood. So I’ll make friends with the shadows and tell them your name.

When you come back (and you will come back) don’t be afraid of the devils on my shoulders. Don’t be afraid of the cold in my skin or the damage in my eyes.

Your name will be forever on my lips and I have signed over my soul for you. The ink left bruises on my heart, is this love?

I will call it love as long as there is air in my lungs, even if it leaves me with smoke between my lips. I can learn to love the taste of toxins – just as I have learned to love the bruises on my heart. Just as I have learned to love you.




Hands twist in the dirt while he sits in the schoolyard laughing with the few friends who have to wait, too. His smile so bright and his eyes so full – everyone loves him.

He hands in notes to the teacher, very prone to sickness. But he smiles and curls his shirt around him, fingertips peeking out of the sleeves. It’s a little loose, a little faded. He thinks it used to be his dads.

When the rest of his friends go home, he takes his time waking. For a while he pretends it’s okay and there will be hugs waiting for him. His heart hammers away in his chest and he thinks maybe he’s a mouse when he sneaks through the front door, creeping up the stairs.

He makes a little too much noise with the creak in the floorboard but he makes it to his room, curls up in the bed.

His desk the next day is empty – he came down with the flu.

A few days and he’s deemed healthy enough to return. Right as rain. His smile’s a little faded and he yanks his sleeves to his hands.

It’s okay, the bruise under his eye from playing catch with his dad. So were the lies that marked his arms, his chest.

He tells the best stories in class and gets praise from the teacher. She doesn’t know he’s been telling stories for a long time already. She doesn’t know the story he paints over with pretty lies.

Maybe he’ll be a writer one day. He waits for that like he waits for love to disappear on his arms.

Too bad he’s prone to sickness.


I pray for forgiveness at the heart of the body I don’t belong in
The words don’t feel right and they don’t sound like me
But that’s probably because I was never the type to apologize
Still his arms find their way around me and his voice is in my hair
If I shut my eyes tightly, I can pretend I’m someone who deserves it,
I can pretend I didn’t show him the wreck of him I just made
And act like it wasn’t my fault, like I can’t believe that even happened
His words are meant to soothe but it pricks at my skin like thorns;
Even in this softness that is him, it still feels like sandpaper
My fingers grip onto his shirt and my eyes hurt and my bones ache
I can never tell if he is the source of this pain or it’s just me,
But it could never be him because he is the only thing beautiful I have
And my eyes need to rest on him after having so much ugliness
Love was supposed to be beautiful, it was supposed to be lightening
Yet it slithers in my blood and turns me into something ugly and it hurts
Because he is so beautiful and I am nothing but bad for him
So in this place where he loves me, I will destroy all that he is
It’s all that I’ve ever been capable of and even in my desire,
The only beauty I will ever create will be the destruction of this love

Sacrificial Self

Black boots strike the cold ground silently, a leather jacket gets pulled tighter around broad shoulders, and unkempt hair shudders in the cool wind.

Words are frenzied and frantic as they build up inside of him. He doesn’t know how to give them form. He doesn’t know how to force them from behind his lips. So he has no other option than to let them swarm and rage until they calm.

Mostly he just needs a little peace and quiet.

It’s brisk out and the sky looks a little too frigid for his liking, but there’s nowhere else to go besides away.

So this is him going away.

An old pocket watch weighs heavy in his pocket and he lets his hand grip it. Gently his thumb rubs it, almost lovingly. In some ways it’s his worry stone. The engraved pattern on its face is almost worn off, but the picture inside is still safe, only slightly yellowed with age.

He pays minute attention to the few that are out as early in this cold dawn. They have their own lives, their own worries, their own problems. They aren’t his and he has enough to think about anyway. Too much to think about.

His skull seems to grow tighter and tighter and all he wants is a little release. Teeth clench and he pauses to close his eyes, trying to will this pain away.

But it doesn’t dissipate. Not even a little.

It just gets worse.

So he continues. A slight drag in his step now, a few rocks scatter and the sound has a slight distracting effect.

As the sun rises higher and higher, more and more people start flooding the streets. The solace once found has finally been lost and he flips open the watch in his hand. A deep breath and he stops again. This time he turns around to begin the trek back.

There’s just not enough minutes in the day and he has things to do.

There’s no time for this suffocation, so he pushes it away. He tries to see the people he once passed and he tries to think of them. It’s hard, but he manages.

He always manages.

There’s too much to do and just not enough time for him.

So he pushes himself away until it’s simmering beneath his skin and though his chest feels tighter, he can do what he’s supposed to do.

And mostly that’s just not worrying about himself.

So he doesn’t.

The wind plays with his hair and his eyes close.

He knows he’ll be out at dawn tomorrow.

Open or Close?


She lets the angles of her heart
Cut into the soft flesh of his skin
And thinks maybe he won’t mind
The pain of loving her

He tries to bandage the cuts
With soft touches, gentle kisses
But it only sinks in deeper,
It only fills his mouth with blood

A short stint of so much
Seems like it stretches out forever
And he’s grateful for it’s end
While she’s left with eternity before her

One left with too much time
Without the other
And the other left feeling like
Too much time was wasted –
Even identical feelings
Can leave radically different marks

Kissing Cuts

What would happen if you kissed me like you used to? Would it really be so bad to forget about her? These feelings in my chest, I know they shouldn’t be there. I know I shouldn’t want you like I do. It feels like it was so long ago, but it feels like it was just yesterday. It doesn’t feel real, when I picture us before, but it’s still there so vividly.

These monsters in my chest in my head in my heart, sometimes I don’t know if they’re trying to push me to somewhere I need to have courage to get, or if they’re trying to drive me into madness with thoughts that could never happen.

I think about you a little too much and you hold me a little too close and this hurts more than it should. My hearts stops beating whenever I think about you but I’m lingering a little too close to death now.

When I sleep alone I can feel you beside me still, I can feel your long arms surrounding me, pulling me tighter and I think – with a little anger and hopelessness – that you never should have held me like you wanted me the way I wanted you.

It’s more than just me thinking about you now. I can just imagine you wanting her like I want you, and it feels like little cuts every time. I wish I didn’t want you to kiss and make them better.


There’s a crack on the glass from when a fist hit too hard. A girl traces it with the tip of her finger and she remembers how scared she was. She remembers hearing her heart like a humming bird and the look in his eyes. She remembers not seeing anger, but sadness.

“Open the door,” he called out in a raspy whisper. “Please, open the door.”

But she never opened the door and he went away. And as she looks at the crack in the glass on the window she wishes he hadn’t left. Wishes he had seen even a sliver of the blade in her hands.

It was just something to release the pressure, just something to take her mind off of the pain she felt inside. It wasn’t supposed to be so bad.

More than anything, though, when she reads a bundled up newspaper tossed on a sidewalk, she wishes he didn’t hurt because of it. More than anything she wants to erase the half-picture of a rope and his closed eyes out of her mind. And when she walks to their headstones, side-by-side, she knows she doesn’t deserve to move on.