• Rowan Gladish

Empty

No

I would say

I’m not in the mood

I would say

I’m too tired

I would say

Because somehow I don’t want to was never enough.

Please

You would say

Don’t you love me?

You would say

Why won’t you prove it?

Your hands would wander

always moving down

no matter how many times I pushed them away.


I learned very quickly

The consequences of resisting you.

Never any violence, never any force

A turn followed by silence.

You would face away from me.

I’m sorry

I would say

I’m just disappointed

You would mutter.

I’m horrible

You would say

No one should love me

I love you

I would say

But now I was desperate to prove it.


I told myself

That I wanted this

I forced myself

To move with your rhythm

To sound how you wanted me to sound

To be what you wanted me to be

I told myself

That I asked for this

Even after all the times

I said no.


Lying there

Unmoving

I always felt empty

As if I had given up a part of myself to you

And now I wanted it back.

You would turn away from me

And put on your clothes.

Turn on your phone.

You got what you wanted

And suddenly

I was no longer interesting.


You are gone now

And I am with someone new

For the first time in years.

We are kissing

I am lying in his bed

And suddenly I am filled with fear

Your voice is in my head

He will want more from you.

I don’t want to feel empty again.


I’m sorry

I say

And I am crying

“For what?”

He asks

And moves to hold me, gentle and secure

I tell him

That I can’t give him what he wants

I tell him

I’m sorry

That I can’t be enough

I’m sorry

Please don’t let me go

I’m sorry

Please don’t turn away

I’m sorry

His arms stay around me

And I am confused

I don’t know what happens next.

I look up

And he is crying too

“I’m so sorry”

He says

“That he hurt you like that”

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