Abuse Like Second Nature

I’m nervous, simply waiting for you to snap me

like a twig.

I’ve bundled my feelings, my loves and hates,

all those outspoken words

and all those silenced words,

into a little gift-wrapped, topped-with-a-bow


for you.


You will accept it.

It is what comes after, when it reaches your nimble hands,

that frightens me.


You weave your skill so well,

like knitted discord inside, I can feel

when I reach in to see if I’m all still there.

Under many dark moons,

you leave your shadow to keep me company.


It walks beside me, keeping my head whirring on into the

small hours of the darkened dawn when

I see it

at the foot of my bed

watching me sleep.

You told it to crawl into all the tight spaces

inside me,

with me.

It reminds me of you, endlessly, always,

breathing your name as I surrender to closing my eyes,

vulnerable lying before your peering shadow,

it could stop me breathing in a heartbeat.


Only you, sweet devil, can keep me falling so hard

so fast,

shedding myself trailing from your bed to mine.

I linger in the smell of you wrapped around my clothes,

taken off in a hurry as your words,

sizzling spitfire,

hand-made cuts and invisible haemorrhage

shatter me to pieces

easy enough for you to pick and keep in

your bed until you are finally finished

with me.


All I feel is the burden of myself,

when I really have no burden to hold.

I’m a phone running out of battery when you need it most.

Filled with a frenzied panic, a slap of frustration passes your face

to use against me all that bottled irritation.

If I don’t touch you back you will

wield it against me,

blame for insensitivity, a slowly seeping coldness

I can fight off under your roaming form

in a shady light of fear.


Your emotional abuse is a character.

It has a body, limbs and hollow face and it can bruise me

with a single touch.

I never leave my body open with you.

And to what end do I let you paint me with your manipulations,

your scheming tactics

your irrevocable evidence I’m worth nothing more for you;

like a girl’s doll known to be too pretty,

putting sticky residue inside their goals at night.


So use me with your infamous fingers.

I dare you, do it.



*Artwork unknown- Pinterest*



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