I love this man.      I love his passion,         the effect I           have on him.

I love        that he’s             flown        so                   far to             see me. 

I     love      that                he cares              about me…               he cares. 

It’s      so   unexpected,    so fulfilling.     He is        mine,     and I   am  his.

i. It was the color of the trees and flowers that lined my ankles, the color of cold water as I pressed my face to it and of misty dreams on summer hills.
ii. The way he walked in – dashing smiles and devil’s spine; a gypsy tale at the bottom of his decanter.
iii. And that was the first time these cataract eyes learned adjust to a little extra brightness.
iv. Trailed footprints and cypress ash on my floor despite the compulsive in me; little ghost trails to show friends I was alive.
And he was good at that, disappearing acts and resuscitations.
v. The shade that dragged through our Sunday morning, when I woke up to apologies sent from my lips to my thighs; it was the golden hue of the afternoon when we’d lay in bed and you’d recount our last night’s love affair.
vi. One that I couldn’t seem to remember.
vii. You told me you’d paint me lilac, the perfect color for rebirth and that is how I let myself become the setting for a starless night.
viii. He possessed electric kisses, raging eyes and spurs in his hands.
ix. I loved the hard worn spine of books coming undone, the smell of crumbling pages in my fingers, and romanticized tragedies so bad, I let him write my story.
x. People have always said I had hair long fawn tousled hair like my mother. You had a thing for braiding and I had a thing for home; in return I let him tie it to the bed while he fucked me even though, I lost a few of my mother’s gift.
xi. When he told me he loved me the first time, it was like being offered fresh grapes in the palm of his hand, but all he let me taste were its bitter skin.
xii. You always had to show me your fire burned brighter than mine.
xiii. I dreamt that I loved you, so I called my trauma fetish and kink
xiv. Tuesday, he came home with cherries. I popped one during awkward silences, one during sex, one when I found his receipt, one when I noticed the lipstick stain on his lapel
xv. I tried to be her.
xvi. I tied the knots tighter.
xvii.I wore make up that dimmed hell’s fire.
xviii.I pretended to cum so hard because I was too afraid to call you up and say, “I’m just as good as her.”
xix. But come Monday, I was your lavender child because….
xx. He says I’m more attractive with startled eyes and red flesh
xxi. But love is when his bullet ruptures my flanks.
xxii. His demeanor changes faster than the leaves of a tree. Faster than it takes his fingers to slip off my panties from underneath my dress.
xxiii. There were no meadows; no valleys; just a ravine that told me why I couldn't wear that dress I wanted.
xxiv. He rewarded me the pulp, only after he cleaned out my body and made a canyon where I could stow away our “dirty secrets”
xxv. Mom, I think I made a mistake, these grapes taste more like marbles.
xxvi. I burn my sheets after sex and when I tell my girlfriends all they wonder about is how much ice cream we used. How can I tell them that I don’t want to be reminded of last night’s coup d’état?
xxvii. I’ve started learning Morse code just so the mail man could understand I am no longer a woman but a deer carcass.
xxviii. It’s the shade of my eyes when I look at my father and tell him I’ve found the man of my dreams.
xxix. The sudden intake of breath when my younger sister wants to meet him.
xxx. I’m learning the language of submission to earn safety.
xxxi. Guilt is a one way street, for me at least. He drops me off at the junction of “You’re just being slutty” and picks me up at “Yes sir, I am a whore”.
xxxii. “Safe words don’t mean a thing when you love to be punished.”


(dedicated to and inspired by inkskinned.)