The Actual Abuse Poem

I want a love
where I don’t have to
bargain my body,
where we don’t
fix things
by you hitting me.
—-
I want the only
kind of compromise
to be between my
Maker and me.
I don’t want another conversation
in the basement
with my mother
to tell her how badly
I was bleeding.
—-
I don’t want to be shocked
that it shouldn’t have
hurt me.
—-
As a concept,
I still miss us,
still want all the places,
the promises. I can’t listen to
classical without thinking of
the opera, and I’m
dreading going back to Philly
without a hand leading me.
—-
I want a love
where love poems
come easy. Where
‘hurt’ can’t be found
a concrete thing.
—-
I want a love
that loves me,
that puts in effort,
that keeps me happy.
I want a love
that doesn’t make me choose
between them
or me.

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