We sit together at the deli.
I haven’t seen you since you last
strung me up for display in front of your critical friends.
It isn’t a purpseful meeting,
but we decide to make the best of it.
You ordered soup, chicken.
I got a salad with water.
I stare only at the greens in front of me, wondering
why we sit at the cold, wooden table instead
of the more tolerable beige booths against the wall.
You don’t notice th steam rise and caress your broken face
as you stare at me.
“How’ve you been?” I say the words to you,
but look only at the red spots drown in dressing.
I hear the spinning of the fans,
cool air showering on
you and me.
It isn’t a dark room, instead it is
a meat locker,
down to the part where I once
exposed all of me to you.
“Been better,” you look away
and I’m caught looking toward you again.
Were you hinting that you missed the past,
or couldn’t wait for the future?
You eat your soup as I nervously nibble on my leaves.
I don’t know what else to say,
and you obviously don’t either.
“Did you ever actually love me?”
“No, I never did. I never could.”
You took me by the neck
and strangled everything I once was.
I want to kill you
the way you killed me.
I am only an animal,
available to be slaughtered
and presented to nitpicking onlookers.
I knew you were the hunter,
with your hair slicked up in ego and pride,
but I had no idea
you would be the butcher, too.
I wanted to think you loved holding my hand,
and watching the dark sky’s freckles light up around the moon.
So here I am,
holding back my frozen tears,
watching you eat your soup,
the chicken strips sinking to the bottom of the bowl
the way I am praying you would slowly die in pieces.
I finally tell you.