Because I Love You

A wax sky drips over a sidewalk corner

Illuminated by a burning-wick sun

As I smile at the old men living there,

Baked and leathery and meaning everything to nothing

They’re holding signs reading, “-

We drove by too fast

I was scared of the way they smiled back, joy departed

And yelled God Bless! in the streets

Their laminate happiness a paradoxically truthful tilework

Under the feet of those apathetic enough to believe their pocket change is worthy of a “I love you” “God Bless”

From the men whose only confidence, is the one they hold in a greater power

Their acts of pity are intended to make themselves feel needed

these men

Are the moral to their story

This is why they love them

 

Do not mistake my taught quietness for compliance,

After a lifetime of reparations at the hands of those

Ignorant enough to believe a girl’s place

Is on her knees

Your love for me because I am not like the other girls

You imply that I am better-

Hint at a hierarchy of your choosing, made up of women created to serve you

The false compliment tastes bitter in your mouth and

Makes me want to bite off the tongue you’re forcing down my throat

Spit it on the ground, crush it into the dense carpet under the heels of girls strong enough to accept equality rather than misandry or misogyny.

I was not strong enough.

Instead, I stayed quiet because you said you loved me.

I stayed quiet, to your advantage.

This is why you loved me

I wish I had had a courageous enough disposition to have said “no”

More than twice,

To have said it boldly,

To have said it again afterwards

And to have said it since

But

In revolutionary rather than evolutionary fashion,

I am no longer quiet

I am LOUD LOUD LOUD

And I do not exist to be extinguished, as though I share

The bigotry and hate you are made up of

I was an explosion long before you lit my flame

I am strong enough to know now

Once is enough

And twice is two times that

I am not to be completed by someone else

I am whole on my own

This is why I love myself

 

As the sky falls once more, I am a moth,

Whose eyes it matters not whether they are open or closed

I see the same light reflected by

The attractive flash of teeth on a face named familiar

By the acrylic eyes painted cerulean,

Framed by lashes stained dark.

In a parking lot contradicting

The rosy-pale skin stretched over your bones

This is where I met you.

You ask me,

What good is love in thoughts?

And so I say,

It doesn’t matter whether you love me (or not).

You are the petrichor fragrance

Gracing my nostrils.

You are the secondhand smoke

Filling my eager lungs.

You are the blood colored fearless red

Pumping through my veins,

Because I love you.

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Our world

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