the certain softness of not being [poem]

“you’ve really been through the wars,
haven’t you, darling?”
you ask, as your thumb grazes the bruise
on my cheek, and then the split
in my lip
i had spat out blood in your bathroom sink
a little while earlier and you’d gotten me water
you tilt my head up and i look anywhere but your eyes
like i don’t want this to be a confessional,
not right now
i think maybe i drowned a little and it’s still in my lungs
i can feel it in the back of my throat
like it might just crawl out of me
ocean salt and so much plastic
i think this would be easier if you didn’t care, don’t you?
i know you’re staring and you’re waiting for an answer
(let me tell you, i’m waiting for one too)
there’s nothing beautiful about this and i’m sorry
there’s supposed to be a certain prettiness to broken pieces
like when we were kids and we’d find bits of pottery in churned up fields, you know?
now it’s 3am and i’m here because that’s where you are
and i know that’s not a good enough reason
i’m sorry, baby, i really am
i taste of metal and i breathe you in
you’re the only real thing at the end of this world
i’m thinking about all the people i haven’t been tonight
so when i kiss you, it’s nothing personal
it’s just a careful annihilation
and your hand’s in my hair,
and you hold on
because i suppose one of us has to.

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