I’m wrapping hell’s nine circles around me
like wedding rings,
like everlasting promises
to the misery I’m willing to marry
if only so they won’t have to feel pain again.
Ring one is for the moments when
her heart crushed into powder at the sight of him,
the bruises the size of baby fists on his neck and
how she had to hold it all in.
Ring two is for the slander shed against his name
and the way he locked himself away.
Ring three is for every time he questioned your decision,
that the love of human beings was not a good enough reason
to be a human being worthy of love.
Ring four is for all the scar tissue built up from the years
where she was worse for wear, but her voice was growing
to be the person she would put on every day, and know she could win.
That the sun shines in,
that some loves are binary,
drawn together no matter how star-crossed,
Rings five through eight are for the ways I tried to save them
from themselves only to realize dragons smile
while delivering the pyre and don’t stay around to lick other’s wounds
as they let their scales harden again.
I wear to flip.
Claddagh with death, with my own demise,
with selfless love and better-than-nothing’s kiss.
Ring nine I wear as a daily reminder I have settled for less.
I am marrying hell if only so that I may carry the burden
for those who have convinced me to stay a little longer,
and a breathe a little easier,
even when others have walked away.
I’m marrying hell
because what good is a Phoenix
if it can’t rejoice
in the fire and brimstone,
knowing there is always the promise of another day.