You Forgot To Warn Me About The Guys With Hearts On Their Sleeves

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Carlos Domínguez / Unsplash

My momma used to tell me stories
To put me to bed
Stories of men
Ones that wear their hearts on their sleeves
And would breathe life into me

She told me about a girl
Who looked like me
That fell for a boy
And lived happily ever after

I grew up with his notion tattooed at the base of my skull
Like the tattoo of his initials on the base of my wrist

His bed smelled like autumn
Cold
But somehow warm enough
Like the whiskey-spiked coffee I had the next morning
When he showed me his heart
Pounding at the seams of his skin

He found poetry in the knots of my hair
And traced circles on my skin
He would touch me with humanity in between his fingertips
Like the threads of mercy
And the exhale of empathy
Choking on my heart
Pumping my blood for me
His eyes burned light through my ghosts
Always speaking in the silences of a question gone unanswered

What are we?
I love you
He loved me
I know

Till I realized that he would tie my hair in knots
Just before he would spill the poetry in between
Untie it
Return me
Love me for the way he made me
The way I was

Till I realized that he would tell me my story to send me to bed
With an ending better than the one he gives me to live
Keeping me up begging the stars for his story
So that I could sleep
And wake up sedated
So that when he wanted to
He could kill me with a kiss

Till I realized that this man would steal my bones
Twist my spine
Break my mind
And sit me up straight
Tell me he’s my back
He’s my bones
He’s my oxygen

I did not realize that he was both
The kiss and the poison apple

So momma
I think you forgot to tell me
That these men
These selfless men
Weren’t so selfless

You forgot to tell me
That these men are thieves
Hiding in the smoke of their cigarettes
Stealing lives and promising forevers in return

You forgot to tell me
That these men
Were nothing other than an antidote
Spiked with the poison they cure

And you forgot to mention
That it’s too hot in LA
For men to wear sleeves anyway Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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