I am haunted by a ghost.
She sits by my side.
Whispers at my ear, all day
and I have to listen to what she says.
I carry her on my back,
side-splitting heaviness giving way to madness.
And she smiles at me, knowing
that I will never get rid of her.
And I will helplessly end up seeing
how she gives flesh to my heartbreaking fears.
She tortures me with her words,
a knife brutally stabbing me,
by smiling and recounting
how he smiled at her
whispered “I love you” to her ear.
How he moaned when they made love.
How he grabbed her breasts
and squeezed her hips as he plunged
roughly, sometimes tenderly into her.
She will laugh and slash out,
letting me know,
how he took her out on dates
drank wine and laughed at her jokes.
How afterwards they would share a kiss
as his eyes gazed at her tenderly
and his hands softly, ever so softly,
touched her face under the light of the moon.
She will purr softly to my ears,
as she cuts me deeply,
and tell me how his cigarette smells on her skin
and how she would dress up prettily for him,
as he says how beautiful she is
and how lucky he is to be with her.
Then, she will pull out the knife from my flesh,
hand it to me and say,
So, now you know. Come, sit, and think.
Do you think he loves you or me?
And blood bleeds from every word she speaks
and my flesh is torn apart at the seams.
Come, she says, do you think he’ll forget?
And my heart drops to the floor
numb, bloody, barely beating
as she picks it up and toss it around
like a toy that has no purpose or meaning.
Really now? She says, do you think
you could ever get rid of me?
When I am all that you would ever feel and see.
Here, she says, take the knife.
Use it on yourself, end the pain, and be free.
And so I stand up.
What did the poem say? Bloody, but unbowed.
Yes, I tell her, you are all that.
Beautiful, sexy, and meaty.
But I too can be equally feisty.
I took the knife from her hands.
Tell me, I slashed out at her,
Were you there during the difficult times?
When we were barely living on a dime
When he was nothing and no one
When he had no money in his pockets
No title on his head
No flashy car to go around in.
Would you have looked at him twice then?
I stabbed at her and said,
Would you have survived the days we had nothing to eat?
Only canned fish and vegetables, each day,
each passing arduous day.
Then go to work with holes in our shoes,
And yet smiling at each other,
drawing strength from the love in his eyes
that would somehow, I know, see me through.
I plunged the knife through her chest, and whispered,
Have you seen him at his darkest?
When he would breakdown and cry
and snap and shout,
when things didn’t work out.
Have you seen him go silent in one of his moods?
Yet I would embrace him, and accept his totality.
Without question, take in his reality.
I looked at her in the eyes and asked,
Are you the mother of his child?
Did he ever tell you that,
You are his life and his meaning?
That all he ever wants was to keep you happy and smiling?
She answered, softly and weakly, “No”.
I rose up to walk away, and I told her,
You can have him. You can go.
You have nothing I need.
Nothing I fear.
For I know,
at the end of it all,
I am everything. I am enough.
And it may take time, but I will rise again.
Made stronger, wiser, and better by this pain.