I think you wanted it to hurt.

I think you liked the thought

of me, knotted up

with jealousy, chained

by hashtags half-written

to open up the skin

and drag out insecurities.

You saw my body


of a few small cuts,

because I didn’t give you enough


that I gave a fuck…

It wasn’t enough

to show love,

to one pair of eyes.

You needed those filters,

that tagging,

those likes.

You needed validation,

a bigger declaration,

an audience,

pink hearts and emojis

and at least three exclamations,


I only told you.

I told you,

my love treads softly,

walking on tiptoes,

trying to go unnoticed

by most,

wanting only to stay

in bed, exhaling slow,


in the smoke curling above our heads.

You said you liked to watch it


but it was hard to photograph;

hard to get

the angle right,

hard to catch it

in the light,

so you stopped trying.

My love is reclusive,

resentful of the curious,

with eyes like scalpels

and words like pins, but you only

smile wider,

and let them in

because you love the weight

of a million eyes,

so much heavier than only mine,

so much heavier, and when small minds pry

you feel caressed,

and view their morbid interest as


because ‘love’ is something you can click,


You haven’t noticed you’re lined up

in their sights, you’ve forgotten

parasites kill

the things they like.

My love whispers.

It confesses discretely

knees trembling meekly,

as I set down my guard

and try hard to be louder

than a notification,

to matter more than all of them,

but I can’t.

Can’t manage more than a sigh,

can’t express my love

in a like,

can’t fucking socialize.

So I just lie

back in an empty bed

a thinner smoke bent

around my head,


all my muted confessions

before I swallow them


with a scream.


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