Words under rugs

“No one ever wears this sweater except for me”
You told me the first time we met

So I put on the sweater when it was lying on my chair

“you’re in
my castle
and I do what I want”

You smiled at my defiance

It was part of what made you fall in love with me

I became
the only person
to wear
that sweater

And I would wear it on me
the nights you were far
that I could not sleep
for the lack of the sound of your breath
warmth of your chest
skin against skin

I think of that now
as I imagine you sleeping
next to
someone else’s skin

Would she wear your sweater?
Would you let her, as I had
carved my shape into the sweater
carve her own shape into all the crooks that had been made for me?
or would you wince
and look down, preserving my memory
like some ancient Greek statue?

I pushed away the thought
it shoved back
it shoved back as my thoughts do

I thought of the century we live in
and how we’re still friends
and how what if there was ever a picture
somewhere across my screen
burned into my retinas
before I have a moment to react
of a familiar sweater
on someone else’s skin
wearing someone else’s smile
and your
her stolen-sweatered shoulders
like it was the most normal act in the world
and not an act of violence
in my savage mind

i would cry to my sister
“it was too soon
the rug was pulled from under me”
victimizing myself to a blue screen

so instead
i look at the rug under me

I will not stand on a doormat
and call it a prison

I face the once beautiful tapestry
now offensive
to my core
and I
it up into my past
place it next to my acceptance
and walk

Sometimes, the path to forgiveness is long.
it’s more of a


But it’s harder still
to not
walk it
at all.


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