Love is scary
It cannot be trusted
I pull away and start fights
Create shadows
I’m convinced of invisible sewers
where only clean clear water dwells
I throw fear on fire like fat on a flame
It sizzles and distracts
grabs attention
while we rush to put it out
Fear keeps me busy and distracted
I lick my wounds methodically like a cat
My rough tongue breaks them open
over and over

I don’t believe in love because I don’t know it
Was it my grandmother’s hand holding mine in the back of the car?
Was it my father, telling me it was OK to cry?
Is it my partner saying I love you?
Why do I believe that love is fake?

When my father gave me love, my mother was jealous.
When my father gave me love, I feared my mother.
When my father gave me love, she put me down.
When my father gave me love, she said I was coercive.
When my father gave me love, she swept noisily with the broom.
When my father gave me love, she cackled like a schoolgirl.
When my father gave me love, she interrupted its flow.

When my parents kissed, I forced their bodies apart with my tough little hands.
It made me squirm so.

I could only have my father’s love if I shared it with another woman.
That woman was my mother.
I could only have my father’s love if I accepted the wrath of my mother.
She was always so angry.
I could only have my father’s love if I gave up the love of my mother.
She could not love me, and he wasn’t allowed to.

Now I believe in incomplete love
Seek out those who offer it
Strive to grow love, in vain
But I don’t know what it is I’m meant to grow
When love is given in stark naked glory
I avert my eyes and hide
For it terrifies and betrays
I do not trust love
All the horrors of the world feel less scary than it

(For Kit)

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