He was a marionette whose strings were rods ascending. It was not
what you would think. He jerked in such a charming way, his limbs were paper
cutouts, colored for your pleasure – for your pleasure – until…
He made those colors, turned you into an expressionist painting, your face
a rainbow. If you were a cartoon it might be fun to look at, but the palette
of hues he created from the canvass of your face makes the world
cringe. We want to weep. We want to avert our gaze and purse our lips.
It’s true that none of us knows what to say. Do you want us to tell you
how remarkably like a cadaver you look when we bravely bother to see?
Do you want us to pretend that you are perfect, and he is perfect
for you? He is that charming little devil you welcomed
into the deep. And having found his home he will not willingly leave.
It is your lips that must form the words, “I am not the receptacle for your pain. I am not
your savior. Save yourself.. I deserve
more than this magnetic devil who settles in fleeting remorse like bile
at the bottom of my insecurity and need.
Too late, he weeps. Too much time passes between the landing
of his fists and his embryonic posture of contrition. I know you.
You will embrace him, and tongues will click and brows will knit themselves
into expressions of superiority. And I?
I will be there when you look in the mirror and ask yourself
the questions we all wrestle with, champions, losers, alike.