Muse by J. Bradley

I want someone to write me
a love poem. Until then,
I will not write another one.

I will write like poems
to the way Rosencrantz uses high fives
as punctuation, Rapunzel wishing
God wasn't watching when wanting
to let down her hair, to the white
Ford Escort swimming in the summer
toward a hotel room where we lost
our names.

I will slit open my wrists
and let the slow dances left
spill into them, use their sighs
like boyband slow jams
to coax chins into clavicles,
until they autograph the yearbook
of my neck.

I want someone to write me
a love poem because I can't
keep making rope out of scars.
I want these arms to stop
being rungs of ladders
that someone else climbs
to escape.

This isn't a challenge;
this is a wish I rub out
of empty bottles of Jameson
because I know when I'm in the room,
no one wants to crack me open
and watch me swoon.

It's why when you say I'm cute,
I don't believe you. When you say
I'm beautiful, I want to let you borrow
my glasses. When you say I'm amazing,
I feel my spine like a spellbook for the words
to undo your curse.

You're probably looking for catering
for the pity party but it's the truth.
I didn't believe I deserved
what I was worth. I loved
like a bruise. I know I cannot keep
coughing up goodbye like scabs.

I'm not waiting for someone
to write me a love poem;
I will wear dust like a tuxedo
if I do.

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