She Looks at Me

She looks at me
With pale blue eyes,
With cheap black dye in her hair
And cheap black makeup
Running down her face

She looks at me,
Still unsure of what to say
Because the wrong thing could send me
Flying over the edge,
Into a symphony of self-loathing
Into a special kind of anger
That makes the air around your ears
Feel like it’s on fire

She looks at me
Unaware of all the voices
Fighting for my attention inside my head,
And how every happy possibility
Is doused in the gasoline of inevitable disappointment
And lit by the sparks
Of my anger and fury

She looks at me,
Incapable of understanding
How someone so held together
Could be so broken

She looks at me,
Never knowing that there was once a boy
To whom I gifted my own heart
But in his greed, broke in and stole my innocence

And after he and all of his friends
Had planted their flags and laid claim to my body
Left me in a bathroom,
Trying to spread what little makeup I had left
Over the bruises now scattered across my face

She looks at me,
With the same kind of blissful ignorance that I see
In the eyes of my parents when they look at their little girl,
Wondering why she is so sad all the time

She looks at me
And has no idea that every morning,
I have to count the number of reasons
That I should not kill myself today,
And every night,
I count the scars under my sleeves
And add them to the stretch marks
That my mother is always so eager to point out

She looks at me
And she’ll never understand,
That every time a man touches me
My eyes slam shut and every muscle in my body
Contracts like I’m trying to become so small that I disappear

She looks at me,
And says
“What happened to you?”

She looks at me,
Crawls onto my lap and kisses me firmly
And unbeknownst to her,
I have dubbed her my teenage savior

I look at her,
And know that I can overlook every time
She found a home in someone else’s bed
While I drained myself of hopefulness
On a cold bathroom floor

I look at her,
And I can forgive her for every time
She wasn’t home to take my call
Because she was out getting doses
Of false contentment and self-confidence
From dark street corners and alleyways

I look at her,
And know in my heart that it won’t last,
That I’m just another puppy love romance to her,
That she’s still testing the waters of love
And doesn’t know quite what she wants yet

And even though I would move mountains for her
And attempt to piece together something that resembles
What she calls a soul, even though I don’t believe in such a thing,
Just so that I could give it to her and say “I made this for you”

I know that soon I won’t matter

But when she looks at me,
I don’t care

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