Eight Dollars

I rip myself open willingly, eagerly, just so you can watch the blood fall into puddles at your feet and see the love I keep there for you.

I watch expectantly while you step left to prevent the possibility of leaving your foot prints stained there, confirming the nightmare that it isn’t enough. Your snide remarks insinuating that the red that drips through the pink of my palms is somehow manufactured, the shade not deep enough for you to trust. Even after you watched me manipulate the blade that you sharpened for me yourself, slicing to sever my skin from my muscle and show you inside. So I cut deeper still, recklessly abandoning my ego and pride in attempt to find your shade of crimson.

But again you push past the silence between us, leaving a bucket of bleach and a look that tells me to rid this space of any remnants that would be us. So I wash myself of myself, and of you, futile attempts to mold me back into whatever it is that you see fit.

I break myself down again and again, only to spend hours fitting the pieces back together in a way that is amenable to you. Losing any and all of the ones that threaten your power over me. I make myself smaller, in every sense of that word, desperately pleading to have left just enough behind to gain your approval.

Your palm grips my throat, allowing just enough oxygen to get lost in the sensation of your lips over mine, creating a slow burn between us. You let go and my thoughts go black as you stare right through me, never stopping to take me in. I beg you, breathlessly, speaking nothing until your left hand takes place at the hollow of my throat where my collar bone meets once again. It’s here that I trust you. Your grip the confirmation that I’d follow wherever you chose to lead me. Blindly, instinctually.

Still you say you cannot see my loyalty, or trust how I’ve bled myself at your feet. My emotions too unsteady in your eyes, threatening the idea that you cannot seem to nail down for me. So I walk away, again. You feeling nothing as I leave, unaffected by the venom you left pulsing to my now unfeeling extremities.

The silence of the next week only broken by your midnight text to see if I’m awake. Self-hatred flushes down my neck to my chest, as I respond within minutes of waking to the vibration on my mirrored bedside table. I tell myself to ignore it, and you. To leave you in the nighttime stillness. But that isn’t the way that this works. So I find my way back to your hands at 2AM, surrendering to the grip of your forefinger and thumb against my windpipes, controlling the depth of my next breath.

I want to believe that you see me the way that I see my reflection in your eyes when you ask if this is what I want. And unaware of what the “this” is, I make my head move side to side to tell you no.

I’ve pledged my allegiance to you, put my hand to the Bible and felt the joy that is found when you hold my face between your hands and smile.

But you still don’t see me.

You’ve set your focus on the eight dollars left between us, unwilling to budge in either direction.

So for you that’s what I’ve become.

(For Kris – I know I cannot stop your heart from bleeding for him, but I promise to love you through his indifference.)



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