I felt pretty when you spoke to me, like the mirror became kinder, I painted my nails, wore red lipstick, even gave myself a wink.

I strutted with a more confident step, felt my eyes meet others instead of the ground, tried to keep a smile instead of a grimace, all because I felt seen and heard.

But this is always the same old story, hope that something will be different, that a man actually means what he says instead of love-bombing just to get sex.

I told you off, lashed you with my tongue, the only defense I ever have left, and after the final words were said, I caved back into myself, felt darkness again.

I know I need to love myself, and I try despite my self betrayals, I seek to forgive my status quo, break out from the chains I love to wear, but we are not meant to be alone.

Now I look in the mirror and battle its message, my walk is now slower, the grimace is back, I’ve stayed in my darkness for two full days, though it isn’t for you I mourn.

You wear the same masks of a thousand faces, you hide behind sex to feel a high, as if humans are drugs that you can’t quit taking, as the casualties lie inside your mind.

Emily C. Poesie © 2020

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