Photo by Greta Unetich

By Greta Unetich

Title and poem inspired by the works of Richard Siken

Shut up. Shut up. I am in love with you. I am in love with you and now I am crushed. I don’t want to talk to you, not out of a place of malice, but because if I look at your sweet face again I will crack. I do not hate you. I adore you, and I always have adored you. There is nothing you could ever do to make me hate you. I want to cry to you that I love you and love you and love you but we both won’t let that happen. We both don’t know if we can believe me. I can wish all I want but I know I will never be good like you are. I told you what I call you when I’m talking to my friends about you, that stupid name whose second word starts with an E because all of the best words start with the letter E, a thick, black line of grief across my chest because I cannot believe what I’m hearing is the truth. You didn’t even suspect it, you said. I do not want revenge on you. I want your name written by you on one of my paper pages but it’s already there. I want your blood on my hands but it’s already there. I want to hurt you so bad that spoonful after spoonful of sugar won’t save you. I need your eyes back on my paintings. I need your eyes back on me, even though you didn’t mean it that way, the word love in my head marked by your name. Your name! I’ll read you the poem Siken wrote about the sailors and the names. Heaven isn’t real and won’t forbid anything. It won’t forbid this from happening, from what you are saying. We never kissed, never touched, but still, it was like stepping into a church. The thought of someone else touching you. No. My head splits like a cloud in the wind. No. Not my hands, not yours. No. The rain falls to earth. There is no way I could ever look at you and not love you. It’s everything. It’s everything and I can’t unsee it. Whatever. I’ve beaten a dead horse and you don’t care. Whatever. I’m slinking back into the dark woods that you’ll never enter with your blood on my teeth and my heart ripped out, beating on the pavement. Yes, it is cruel. This is cruel. It’s everything and I can’t unsee it. 


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