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To all the Js

I ask, “do you love me?”
“Not in the right way,” you say.
“Not in the way that matters.”
But it matters to me.

Every kiss. Every lie.
Every promise that splinters my heart.
I crawl back to you day after day.
When I show up with bloody hands and knees, you tell me not to ruin your sheets.

I choke on your words to feel something.
I absorb your hate so that when you leave I will have heat to cling to.
My bones ache in your presence.
Your skin is balm under my fingers.
My very cells cry out to you because it all matters to me.

You walk over me as I bleed on your doorstep.

- ANW

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