as if i never
was my answer. Without preamble, plain and clear and easy to understand. Sitting in the passenger seat of a truck whose wheels were too big for its body. Choking on the smell of your sweat and cheap body spray and cigarette smoke, engulfing and overpowering—like
the rest of you. And what surprised me most is that you were surprised at all, caught off guard by my response, devastated. As was my mother, as if she knew my bounds better than myself. But she wasn’t there when it happened. And I’ll never tell, and
you know better. But these aren’t the words you want to hear. These hard and nasty words, coloring you as the monster. And you tick back titles that just can’t stick, trying to slough off some of your trouble onto me, because
it happened. The back of the same truck, jeans around my ankles and a yellow jacket. Long hair splayed out in a halo, glasses fogged and tilted. Traffic sounds, a scream: the same word over and over
echoing off the cab, like my response to the question you just asked. Astounded, because how could I still love someone who broke me. Who found pleasure in my ragdoll body filled with fear. Who picked over my choicest bits like a man at market. So,
my answer was no, I do not can not will not love you anymore—but I know,
you never really listen.