I don’t forgive you. And so I will stoke this grudge like a fire. I will huff on its embers and feed it kindling from leaves and twigs that have broken off branches and have been sucked of life by the sun, air and time. I will guard it and keep it red and glowing by fanning it with a hand you don’t know the sensation of holding. I will feel the heat of the flame on my face, one whose simplest forms you have yet to learn.
I will plant it like a tree and tend to it like a fragile little sprout. I will build a shelter around it and check the moisture in the dirt with the finger I’ve always wanted to press against your lips when you were saying words so mindlessly I doubt you’ll ever remember to regret.
I will sing to it my songs and water it with my tears, the ones you never saw or recognized. Maybe they were so commonplace they became ordinary, and therefore not worth your time. I will keep them in a jar whose lid I will unscrew on occasion, if only to hear the echo of my sob into its mouth.
It will grow like a child I’ve fed from my breast, who will take more and more space on my bed. I will whisper into its ear my sorrows until she learns to say it all back to me, hands tied. We will have conversations of disgust disguised as distance, and with these we will build a house that holds fires and vines and falling branches, and little monsters who share my likeness and my pain. Their lives will revolve around despising you and what you’ve done and everything I cannot forgive, all in a list that is everyday’s agenda of rage. I’ve numbered them, as they are many, complex and unruly. Their disorder is designed to hide the one that stands tallest out of all: my hatred for myself, for still allowing you to breathe and breed in me this way.