the worms

everything was fine.
the night was
a great big juicy apple
and we were enjoying it
together.

until.

two tiny worms
rankled and crawled
at the bottom of
my heart and left
a bad taste
in my mind’s
mouth:

one: he said I love you
all equally
. he gestured
grandly, expansively
around the room. he was
looking straight
at me, as if to make sure
I understood. but
what exactly
was the message
I was supposed to be
receiving?

two: he sang that damn
song again, the one about
something that never
even happened, the one
he claims he doesn’t
even like, the one that
even he admits
is about me. of course
he can admit that,
because it’s not exactly
complimentary. I had yet
to rebut it – even though
it’s been around
for months – and with
the bitter taste in my mouth
from the first worm
compounded twofold
by the second, I
could not help myself.
I penned a quick,
casually cruel screed
and sent it like
an arrow flying
at the apple so jauntily perched
atop his head.

it was too low a blow,
I thought later, and
hid it from sight
since I could not
take it back. I felt
bad. even I didn’t
really know how deeply
the first worm
had eaten into my heart.

if I can’t be special
for being the best, I’ll
sure as shit try to
stand out by being
the goddamn worst. that’s
something I’ve come
to realize about myself,
though I’ll never learn
to like it. I’m like a dog
that acts out because
even negative attention
is better than none.

so go ahead, please
shoot me. it means
you cared enough
to aim. just don’t tell me
I’m just like
everybody else.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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