Leaving Skin

 

it wasn't easy slipping out of your life.
fingernails screaming, you held on
as if your life depended on keeping me
chained, in my place, nailed on your wall
like a picture, dripping red down the 
sheetrock.

i write this with my eyes closed to
avoid being tricked into believing that 
the sound of your voice is tangled 
with my words. i cannot hear you
so you must be shouting my name again.

i washed the blankets and the sheets, 
purging them of your smell.
warm as toast, reeking of insincerity,
they did not go quietly into the washer.

all lessons learned, thank you. protect yourself
and damn the cost to me. 
you did what needed to be done, and if i'd died,
you would have still slept peacefully under the
blanket of love i weaved for you.

denise

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