I Am the One They Want

December 3, 2007
By Samantha Brussels, Parkland, FL

All three of them say I am the one they want,
desire, the object of their affections, and her –
that I am the holder of all her cards, that I
have all her chess pieces
inside the palm of my hand, and that I am the bearer
of every black little valentine from the bottom
of her drug-twisted, arsenic-mangled heart.

I guess I love her.

Travis, surrogate older brother incarnate, calls me his
little kitten, but he says I move like a snake.
I am the illegitimate child of a werewolf and a vampire:
the eyes of a wolf, skin four shades too pale, flesh seven degrees
the color of old bruises, photophobia and an aversion to too much light,
the bite and blood-lust of a vampire, and the body of an adder. I am a
predator, every step smooth and controlled, eyes hot and bright and burning.
I have all the grace of a raven and the power of a storm
and the instincts of a lupine and the razor-sharp mind of a serpent.

But ah, my dearhearts – I cannot love any of you.
Not the one with the frame of a deer, eyes like old whiskey,
and the hair of an 80’s rockstar, nor the young Adonis
who is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. And not her,
with toffee-colored skin and hair like night spun into threads,

But how can I love anyone before I love myself?
I must take one step at a time, and I must patch myself together
before I run into your arms.
I am broken and bleeding, a big fan-freaking-tastic
poetic mess, and I must sew myself back together before I go to you.

I am Sami, and I am Crow, and I am Bug,
and I am whatevertheheckyouwannacallme –
and I cannot love you just yet.

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