staple my eyes closed and promise me that's the best way to see.
press your mouth to mine and breathe poison down my throat, bite my tongue until the blood is dripdripdripping a steady path down to my waiting lungs. backhand me when i choke, call me ungrateful when i try to cough it up again. rip reality from behind my lungs and tell me not to bother with it, tell me i'm mistaken and the world is a lie and the only map i'll ever be able to trust is the rotting directions spewing forth from your gilded tongue.
ignore me when i question. get angry when i keep pushing. shove me into the wall and pull the moral fibers from my heart until i forget what right tasted like and am left with the feeling of wrong tattooed between my molars. let me stumble into tar pits of mistakes. don't stop when my hand draws the blade across her breast, don't blink when i continue to hack, when i'm sobbing between blows. turn your cheek when i'm sobbing, when i'm breaking her down, when each lash across her back is cat-tailed across my own. tell me it's expected. tell me it's okay. tell me not to worry.
continue to drag me down further.
upturn my every thought until i'm questioning my words and staring at my hands and wondering why they look so wrong. watch silently as i slash them off at the wrists, reveling in the pain because it's no less than i deserve. walk away when i'm curled in the gutter, when i'm holding myself tight and leaking out the empty spaces. when i'm dissolving all over the asphalt, wrapping myself in grime and murder-proclamation-papers.
whisper back, tell me not to give up hope. don't bother to tell me that's a lie. don't tell me hope never existed. let me fight for death, let me fight for the poison. watch me beat myself again and again. watch me drag myself and sob and wrack my aching body against the buildings in downtown hell. watch as i pull myself apart, because i convinced myself you like me best when i'm bruised and frayed. watch as i burn, as i blame, as i bite through my leash and throw myself before the oncoming bus.
because, someday, he's going to find me emaciated and rotting behind the gas station dumpster. someday he's going to push back my grease-streaked hair and cradle me close. someday he'll cry for me over every laceration and every open wound. he'll listen when i tell him the terrible things i've done, horrors i've committed and sins i've never confessed blistering the back of my tongue. he'll bring me close and warm my gritted cells, rub my calloused palms together and stir my blood back into flow with languid, urgent words.
he'll heal every wound, the ones i inflicted and the ones i was too slow to prevent. he'll be patient when i wake up screaming from night terrors and compassionate when i weep on his shoulder. he'll drag my soul back from purgatory and argue for its release until he's hoarse. he'll fight for my freedom and my heart and then he'll let me have it to make my own choice. he'll force my eyes open, he'll draw the toxins from my throat and spit them out. he'll shove me back into life, reassembling my spine, untangling my veins, rebuilding my faith and trust no matter how hard i resist. he'll peel back the cracked, decaying shell you put on love and show me the truth of it. kiss my jaw and whisper my name until i learn how it feels to not hate it. not hate myself. not hate anything. he'll kiss me until i'm drained of anything but him, of light, of salvation pooling in all my cracks and causing me to glow from the inside out.
so, really, please, continue: do your worst.
one day, he'll come along and even you'll have been worth it.