If I am leaving, let me leave. Don’t give me apologies. I have enough of those to burn. Don’t try to keep me. My body knows more about goodbye than yours ever could. The promise of a shut door, quietly, without any trace of anger. The falling footsteps of someone who wants to go – I used to mistake it for my heartbeat.

You thought I held love in my palms like a tangible thing I would not give you. I was still learning – the power of a woman, the magic of her thighs like a drink a man could get drunk off of. And how the image I kept of myself was not the image they did – how the girl in my pictures was a person I did not know – but wanted to.

And now, there is more blister and bruise for it.
More will, and strength. More steel.
More smoke and ash.

I was a girl then – that was the word. I do not know what empty parts you thought you could fill with one so young. Or why you even wanted to try. I cannot reconcile your voice always wanting more. I am a woman now – that is the word – and thank God I never let you try.


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