She is malicious, and polyamorous
as fuck, says your ex-girlfriend.
Says, or shouts, the edges of her
words hard and menacing, the k
a sharpened splinter of glass, held
in her own shaking hand and pointed
at you. Everyone is bleeding.
I am not there when she shows
up at your door, loose and messy
with vodka, the street dark,
the lilacs full and soft and seeping
thick purple sweetness. She stands
on your lawn, screaming, and you
go to her, your hands low,
fingers splayed. It’s okay, it’s
okay, please stop. Your neighbours
settle onto their porch, crack
open the beer. She can’t stop
yelling, her teeth just get
in the way of the fast hard cocaine
rock-slide of words. She takes
a swing at you, a wide, full-bodied
arc, and later can’t remember
why her shoulder aches, doesn’t
understand why you won’t
take her calls. She tells
everyone how much you hurt
her, cries prettily, licks
slag and rock dust from
the corners of her lips.
I am not there for any of this.
Still, I am the looming shadow, darker
than your two a.m. street, and more
menacing. She can’t find
me to hit me. She needs
to make me hurt, make me small
and ugly with sloppy purple
bruises, so that everyone knows
that I am a slut. That she won’t
stand for it. That what happens
in the privacy of darkness doesn’t
count, the strangers on your street
A woman like me might give you
ideas about how easy it is, how beautiful,
to spread your legs without fear and shame.
And if you lick that sweetness, how
can she keep you from wanting more?
Her mouth is full of soap, carbolic acid,
lye, and she pushes you onto your couch,
insists you kiss her, full of tears and burning.
She will talk and talk, everywhere she goes,
calculating the spatter, the bits of me that burn.
She will split my skin to show off her own smooth
soft integrity, the white unblemished expanse
of her. She’ll talk about me, sweetly, stickily, saying,
No one would bother to harm her if she weren’t so
dangerous. And that will make sense.
Obviously, obviously. It’s for your own protection,
and hers. It is what love does when a woman
like me shows up, unescorted, my laughing mouth
full of lipstick like blood. She will give me a reason
to bleed and she is certain, she will make certain
that I will deserve it, I will deserve