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A Tenderly Broken Heart

We lie in the dark,
my back to his chest, clinging to one of his arms.
This moment is beautiful, tender, and I cherish it.
The silence is broken and his voice rumbles in my ear.

"Tell me about your past, my dear."

My life flashes past my eyes, quick as lightning.
Panic sets in, I gulp, sweat, attempt to avoid.
He sees through it all and persists.

Tears threaten to overwhelm me,
as internally I burn this moment into my mind, heart, and soul.
I silently tell him, my love, goodbye.

"My young life has been hard, painful, overwhelming.
I've been shot, nearly stabbed, nearly choked to death on the railroad tracks.
I've screamed for help so many times by choking on pills, sitting on train tracks, slicing my wrists.
Abused by a brother, abandoned by a father, neglected by a mother.
Kicked out, homeless, stealing candy from a gas station."

His arms tighten the more I speak, and I regret telling him anything at all.
But he has asked and I cannot deny him.
The words begin to flow like a car crash that I am powerless to stop.

"The abuse seemed kind when it happened, from lovers of my past.
Though each had specific rules, that I discovered fast.
I could not touch one unless upon seduction.
I could not trust her, for her death was near upon my fingers.
I loved one; they preferred to see me suffer, for I wished to make them happy."

I can feel the anger radiate from his body,
coiled tight, wanting a target.
I know it's fueled by a sadness, I cannot feel.
And yet I continued.

"I've suffered from nightmares for years, waking to tears or screaming.
I am easy to fright, even when unwarranted.
The PTSD causes me to flinch or jump at near every sound.
PTSD, insomnia, depression,
I've fallen down flights of stairs,
taken care of everyone else and have neglected myself."

I stare into the darkness as the words finally stop,
everything that ever happened replaying through my mind again,
from a new perspective.
Still I cannot feel the true tragedy of it.
I realize I have recited these things, in a monotone voice.
Devoid of the pain I must have felt.

But I am the rock, the caretaker, the forgiver.

He is silent with me, his arms an iron cage,
and I cannot breathe.
I do not mind.
He inhales deeply, his voice nearly inaudible he simply speaks.

"I will always be here for you."

And my heart finally breaks.

Copyright © Tiffany Julius | Year Posted 2016


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  1. Date: 7/11/2016 5:46:00 AM

    Deep emotive write, when you love someone you accept them for all they are, especially the scare.. a well expressed poem..