Armor

Isn’t it silly, the way we cover ourselves in armor,
The way we carry shields across our hearts,
The way we expect our lovers to turn into enemies,
Instead of just promising each other not to take that first swing.
I’d never hit you,
I’d never kick you,
I’d never expect you to blow out my brains,
To run a sword through my stomach,
And yet I’m guarded.
I’m afraid of you,
of the one who makes me feel safer than I’ve ever felt.
Because the one before you made me feel safe, too.
Less safe, but still safe.
And I believed the same things,
He’d never hurt me,
Never leave me bloody and broken,
cursing my heart for falling in love so hard,
Just so I could be destroyed so easily.
I’d covered my naked body in chainmail,
A breastplate over my heart,
A helmet over my fragile mind.
You took off pieces of my armor so slowly,
Your shaking fingers sliding over my skin,
Like they were going to find poisonous barbs protruding from my shoulder blades.
Because the last one hurt you,
Infected your soul with a plague you can’t forget,
No matter how much you try not to remember.
She left scars on your skin like anthrax,
Lesions mapping out love and heartbreak and pain across your body.
Guiding the next lover,
So she knows where you’re the weakest.
I’m the weakest when I’m with you.
Your eyes could make the Great Wall of China crumble.
And your lips make me feel like I don’t have legs,
Like the strongest part of my body disappeared,
The way the world disappears when I’m with you.
I never noticed how beautiful the milky way was until I was staring at it with you,
Tipsy and shivering,
And somehow I’d never felt warmer.
In that moment I wanted to wrap your body around me like a cloak,
I wanted to wear your love,
Cover myself in the smell of your cologne,
Breath in your soul.
I wanted the taste of you on my lips forever,
But nothing is forever.
We find pain searing through our bodies,
Our once impenetrable armour weakened and rusting.
I doubled over when you pulled your sword out of my stomach,
I looked at your face,
Cold and shameless,
As you said you were sorry.
As if an apology will heal the wound that you left me with,
As if regrets could pour blood back into my body.
You didn’t have to do this,
I would have surrendered.
I already surrendered.
I wore a white flag the night you held me in your arms,
And I told you that I loved you.
I would have let you storm my castle,
Take anything you wanted.
You didn’t have to bring an army,
I would have signed a treaty.
But instead you left me bleeding,
Screaming for the blacksmith,
To fashion steel that I can use to cradle my soul.

Written 6-18-17

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