You paint your nails three times a week because nothing says, “I’m hiding behind my smile” like chipped nail polish,
Or so your mother says.
And the third therapist you’ve visited this month thinks you have commitment issues,
Like that even solves anything.
But a woman named Susan with an awful pixie cut and an affinity for wall decor that implies we’re all lucky to be here doesn’t know shit about you,
Because she isn’t there at four in the morning when you roll over and yesterday’s friendly fuck is right where you left him,
Occupying a space that always seems empty,
When you place your ear close to his heart just to hear the rhythm, and exhale to the same beat because it calms you down when you’re thinking about the day you tried to walk away from every painful part of your childhood and ran smack into the brick wall we call adulthood.
At midnight you tip-toe to the fridge and drink milk straight from the carton because you know no one can see,
And every day you will try to remember what your mother says about forgiveness, but all that comes to mind is the irrevocable truth that some people are so broken they can only hate you for being whole.
By the time you’ve been hired and fired from your fourth job this year, you’ll finally accept that there will always be at least one person who questions the motive behind your forgiveness, but all that matters is how it makes you feel.
You are a flame,
And your torch song is drinking too much coffee, missing the wrong people, lying about loving red wine, running your car on empty because you spent your last five dollars on a used Gin Blossoms album,
Burning your tongue on a hot pocket because it’s the only food you can afford,
Burning your hands touching people who only want to rip your ribs apart to make space for themselves,
And seeing your new therapist till “daddy issues” don’t make you cry anymore.