To the Boy that Didn’t - Taylor O'Lynn

To the boy that didn’t

Or couldn’t

Love back the way I can

Days, nights, weeks, months, years

Your ego put my worth in the corner

Sit, stay

Your words defined my value

“She’s learning” 

You warned 

Dulled knives 

Launched from your lips

Into my skin and flesh

So I wore them

Defined by you

Stupid, Clumsy, Crazy

Wrong

Bitch

I wore those knives

Those exhaustive

Toothless knives

Not sharp

Not keen

Yet they plunged 

Similarly

our walls 

Wore the holes

and cracks

at your design 

“Decor”

Disfigured 

But to the boy that can’t

I’m sorry

That your damage

Disintegrates those you touch

Into fragmented dismantle

Once a heart that shimmered

Glistened

Became barred 

Shielded 

With a brigade of 

“What If”s and “I’m sorry”s

Blemished 

By your inability 

Drowned 

By your insecurity

I’m underwater 

Full of knives

Looking up

You hold me down

My lungs ache

You rise at my expense

You assembled 

A convincing mirage

An illusion

A float

Thank you

I knew you loved me

I trust you

As you force 

Yet another

Edgeless knife

I sunk

Again

A pattern

A familiarity 

“Comfort” 

Your consistent inconsistency

For my appearance

For my attitude 

For my standard

Was a race

 I could never win

A ledge 

I forever fell short of

So instead of jumping

I stood still

Drew my line in the sand

You shuffled through

Draw it straighter

Deception

I convinced

No

You convinced me

Something is wrong with me

Why

Your mother didn’t hug you tight enough

Didn’t kiss you goodnight 

Your perception of women

Corrupt 

Revolting

Objects. Toys. Puppets.

Accessories. Add-ons. Useful.

My life curled in your palms.

Delicate. Beautiful. Full. 

Easy. 

You marveled 

In the sound

As you crunched it

Into a ball.

You laughed. 

Boasted.

So to the boy that didn’t

And can’t

Love the way I can

I’m sorry

For the last time

That I hosted

The parasites

Of blood sucking faults Resulting from

The standard 

that you fell short of

You cheated

But I’m crazy

You lied

But I’m crazy

You manipulated

But I’m crazy

Take a bow

You had me fooled

And somehow

Out of ash and debris

Remnants of self respect and worth

Building

Growing

Strong enough

To cut you 

With your knives

Because now

I’ve learned to swim


Taylor O'Lynn writes from Roanoke, VA. This is her first published work.


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