Page 31

Vacancy

You processed every emotion into an extension of anger.
Each time you raged out of control I became less afraid of danger.
Your insecurities formed the rope that I kept hanging myself from,
always trying to identify where it was that we went wrong
until eventually I realized we’d been wrong all along.

When I found you, I’d been looking for a haven that felt safe
– a place where I wouldn’t feel the need to run, hide, or escape.
You’ll never fully grasp the type of damage I sustained
before I fell into your arms in an attempt to hide away
from the pain of being abandoned and the shame of being raped.

In my disillusionment, I somehow let myself consolidate
all of my past and future traumas into one solitary place,
knowing you would hurt me but also knowing you would stay.
Over time, your uncertainty infected my power with your fate
until self-doubt fossilized into mind
bringing condemnation instead of grace.

You felt small so you wanted me smaller,
but I was grand and you couldn’t understand
why I wouldn’t shrink for you.
Over time I characterized you by the way
you needed me to think for you.
I saw inside your eyes that you believed your lies
and needed me to drink your truth.

We’re back to anger, rage, and danger when I say I’m leaving you.
I tell you I’m not happy, but I’m not sure what that means to you.
You envied my will to swim and needed me to sink for you.
I have no capacity to live a life
in which all my dreams slip through.
I’ve done a lot of things for love,
but I won’t do these things for you.