the gamble

in our little game
of mutually assured destruction,
I betrayed my hand too soon;
I gambled big and lost it all.
now you hold all the cards
and I hate it.

in the past I admitted
certain things to a certain
heartless psychopathic fuckboy;
I lost my cool and revealed
just how very much I cared
and my feelings were turned into a weapon
that was used against me
countless times, while he
said many things he later claimed
he never meant, but never
the important one,
never the L-word
without a “we” in front of it.

see. given my ancient
and not so ancient history,
it’s no wonder I’m angry.
show me that you can be trusted
not to abuse the upper hand,
and I’ll stop feeling so outraged.
if there’s a world
where the house doesn’t always win,
I’d like to know about it.

bonsai

twisted, constricted
bent every which way, but
still striving towards the light.
I’ve been sadly warped by you, mama,
and never learned how
to straighten up and grow right.

what does sunlight look like
when it’s not filtered through glass?
what does love look like
when it’s not strained through an agenda?

trained and pruned,
grafted and transplanted
all that artifice and care
just to make me look like
everyone else.

the wires mustn’t show.
don’t look at the gardener
behind the curtain.
you wouldn’t like what you see.

miniaturized. my need for growth
was used against me.
no matter how hard I tried,
I couldn’t expand beyond
the hard limits
imposed by the tiny pot.
if left alone, I would have sprawled
over ten times that surface area,
run rampant, kudzu-like,
over all your proprieties.

the pathos of things
like trees tortured to stay tiny
but look like their normal size parents.
if this is what your empathy looks like,
spare me.
I’d rather have been raised by wolves
than oppressed by your idea of civilization.

R.I.P. Young Love

young love is hopeful. young love
has watched too many movies,
read too many romance novels,
seen one too many shows
where love conquers all
by sheer willpower.

young love is not realistic.
young love doesn’t know
how passion and trust can die
a slow and agonizing death
of starvation by distance –
when absence makes the heart
grow colder, not fonder –
or founder in the depths
of a morass of self-loathing,
rotting by degrees despite
all efforts to save it.
it’s not pretty.
it’s the opposite of romantic.
no matter how much
you think you love each other,
the relationship can die on you
and become an albatross
around both your necks.
unless the circumstances
are just right, and there are no
obstacles in your path,
young love is setting itself up
for a world of hurt.

I’m no longer young. I’ve seen love
come and go, and I have
the scars to prove it.
can you really blame me
for wanting to spare us both that fate?