on love and loss

The sigh of relief, as audible
to me as nails across chalkboard,
never escaped her chest. The weight of him
oppressed her in ways no one else could see.

Her coffeed eyes blinked stories through me,
heavy, untold riddles,
while her beauty lay
in the hollow of shadows…

How she looked

away

through cries of

he seems nice to her, it was too easy for
them to judge when freshly starched.
To smile and nod, pretend to

sympathize

when no one cares to
sort the truth of a mortared pain that
stacks behind lines of a half-smile because
she
won’t
be a burden or a drag, she’ll just

puff

another while he prays

to a God she does not know,
nor care to. She prays
to the ether in hopes of
finding someone who does.

The hypocrisy that hinders growth pretends
to call itself faith, and festers in a man who
carried the title of husband,
now his main moniker

falls

with his grace

not to worshiper, much more
sinister than that in repugnancy, and revulsion —

blind follower.

Who will argue to keep
his own blacks and whites,
tucked in tight, beneath a self-righteous
golden chest-plate that grips his prayers while

none

hold him close.

Any more than speaking in tongues
to new brothers that cherish him, just as long
as he stays within those wavy lines,
keeps his head above
their holier than thou water.

She chose, yes chose to walk away after days,
and weeks, and years of not being ideal, of
being burnt daily at his stake.

Scorned.

Told she was
lesser than,
that her clothes,
her hair, the way she spoke was not pleasing
enough to this God among men. She endured
nights of doubt, of fear, of uncertainty that
she would do the right thing to keep her family

safe and whole…

meanwhile tossing her own self over the edge
in infinite ways that never meant death.

She gave…until her tears dried to blood, and
still she would slit herself open one more time
to save someone else
in need of bread.

Now spent and confused,
taken with merciless
things that only age can do, she has nailed herself
to a wall there is no escape from. Her mighty

efforts

to shut him out

have only shut her in.

As she swore she wouldn’t, and spat with her
last fighting breath, she dwindled; her spunk
flew off with her spark into the night,

never

to be replenished

the way she was
elaborate, in her egret days.

Bitterness had grown-up strong, and healthy,
simmer grown to a boil, never could
give her what she wanted
even though she held onto that succulent, hot

anger

with all her claws intact.

I admired her for that, but in the end,
in the end…I’m afraid for her.
I am afraid that in the stubbornness
she grips with each full breath, that

sacred fiest,

justifiable

fury

in the atrocities done
to her, to others that she can not,
she will not suffer
or stand by silently
to curse another sunrise.

I am afraid I will admit…

He’s won.

Dedicated to all who have suffered, and been brave enough to survive domestic violence in any form. Long may you fight, and be free to be yourself.

Written by

Holes and a series of rabbits — my debut poetry collection — now available! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089RRRGXX/

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