Today it is hard to love you
A poem by Rebecca Summerscales.
Photo by Erkan Utu from Pexels
The everyday slights, indignities, put downs and insults that people of colour, women, LGBT populations or those who are marginalized experiences in their day-to-day interactions with people.
Today it is hard to love you,
I don’t want to add to the discourse of borderline being ugly
but by fuck, does it look hideous at times.
Like slugs in salt,
and every day you dress like a woman.
Go to work.
Turn the lights on, then off
smile, nap, collect the post,
the night before burning in the distance,
gone to you but
my hair still smells of smoke.
And I’ve come to resent it.
Mother has a habit of pouring into what’s broken,
as if that cup will ever be full.
Will sacrifice the whole of me just to feed you.
and “you’re not putting family first”,
as if doing that wouldn’t starve me.
“Blood is thicker than water”,
but I am so thirsty.
You lie and they lie for you and I make sure I can leave
in case tonight’s the next episode in the season,
and I save you and you punch me and
I save you and you stab me and I save you, and
we sit in A&E and you go missing and you laugh and I laugh and
Today it is hard to love you.
It is hard to love you any day.
It is harder to love the people who tell me I should love you.
It is hard to love anyone that doesn’t love me.
I have done for you what no one should have to.
For years, I have loved through gritted teeth.
Today, I draw a circle around myself in salt.
There will be no more small talk at the dinner table,
no polite smiles and bitten tongues,
pass me a glass.
No more “please, I promise no alcohol”,
sneaking sips while I sleep,
no “let’s put some music on”,
or “clear the table girls”.
No more “let me make some calls.”
And I know that makes me alone, I know.
But to make it black and white, as so you prefer:
I am not hungry anymore.
I am finished chewing, it’s all gristle anyway.
I have never known fullness or blood,
what could I possibly be missing?