I am not your girlfriend
The young girl whose body you were first
In that way
That all female bodies will open
Some sooner than others.
My body was opened by another
A long time ago
And then prised open more and more
By many other others.
Sometimes I loved them.
Sometimes I didn’t.
Sometimes they loved me.
Sometimes they didn’t.
It’s a long history
Complicated and even if I tried
I could never tell you the truth,
Neither the humiliations
Nor the acts of nobility.
I know I will want to show you a picture
That doesn’t exist
Like when I believe that the last perfect look
I throw at the mirror before leaving for the day
Is the look I’ll wear all day long,
Even when I become angry at a slow driver,
Or trip on the sidewalk
Or spill coffee down my sleeve.
All I can try to show you is in my eyes
When I plead with you to be something immune
To the disease of goodbye.
Did I love you more than others? More than anyone else?
I will tell you
That when I put the mask on for you
I gave an extra rotation of the screws
Though the rust dug into my scalp and drew blood,
I endured the pain,
To keep it on just a little bit longer, pleading
Not yet, not yet,
Not while every word you spoke to me was still capable of
ripping a hole the size of a planet in my stomach
where the butterflies rushed in.