October 23, 2021

Requiem for a Toxic Relationship: I do not call. {Poem}


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There are at least a dozen ways that I can contact them


they are but one dumb thumb flick away 

But today, 

I do not call. 


There are infinite loopholes I can easily find 

All of them open, ready, wide

The water so warm on the other side 

I shiver 

and wrap my arms around myself; there’s no one else to do it 

Sunlight beckons

through the doorway

But I will not go through it 


Yes, I yearn for warmer 

No, for I’ve been colder 


I curl myself into a ball 

and wait out the weather 

I do not call. 


I haven’t “settled down” yet 

I’m just kind of floating around 

like a heavy ghost 

Bumping into things, people 

here and there 

and finding nowhere to sit

To sleep 

To stay 


I am a stranger in a strange land 

in a strange bed


I’m homesick for a broken home


Ceilings, so tall 

Into the floor now, they fall 

Home is nowhere at all 

I do not call. 


I listen to the songs we first made love to 

Back then 

when that’s all we wanted to do 

Back then

when we were so new 

our life still had the plastic wrap on it 

We couldn’t wait to rip it off 

and get dirty


I want it back

Our bed, our music, our life, our love

”Our” everything

“Our” anything

I want it all back

But the brain is in charge now. There was a revolt, long overdue 

And it will not allow the body to move that way again 

Not while I am awake 

Not outside the dream 

Outside the dream, I do not know them

I do not know this person

I never knew that person

At all 

I do not call. 


I watched “our” show and 

it was approximately 99 percent less fun without them 

They ruined my favorite show 

I want to tell them that 

And I want to ask what they think about the plot twist and if they remember that I predicted it 

But I do not tell them 

and I do not ask 

I let the words drop into the sky 

On their way down, I watch them all die 

I think of a heart attack, the shock from the fall 

Whatever the way, there is nothing to say 

The only words left 

are the ones on the wall: 

I do not call. 


I think I was right 

and they were wrong 

Also, I’m aware of the inherent and irrevocable bias in my judgment 

My whole case would be thrown out of court, my testimony stricken from the record altogether on bias alone 

I’ve seen enough “Law & Order” to know that 

I do know that, we never really know the score 

if there even is one

Besides, there is nothing left to win; there is nothing left to lose 

And above everything, this one thing reigns tall 

I know this one thing 

and this one thing 

Trumps all: 

I’d tell you to leave. A friend, a sister, a brother, a loved one, a stranger on the f*cking train—I’d tell you all to leave. 

I’d tell you: Do not call. Do not go back to them at all.


Tonight I think of “us” 

and I miss them

My body remembers 

and I want them

Parts of me 

Literally cry out for them









Each of these parts 

stain my sheets 

with their tantrums


I lay in their puddles 







In one dumb flick of a thumb 

all this pain 

can be undone 

Everything I want 

Everything I feel

I need

For one more moment

I can pretend 

In one moment 

This isn’t the end 

I can pretend 





That we can have it all

But I am done pretending 

I do not call.


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