Paint to Poetry: Crossfire

5 March 2019

(Content warning: domestic abuse)

When you first drew lipstick
in circles around my neck
tethered to a ribbon
you fingered at fifteen
waiting to burn up
like chillies on my tongue,

You called it ‘love’.

Patches of strawberry
smashed under my eye
after we rained.
I wish I’d been mixing blood
into your alcohol.
Just so you could taste ‘our love’.

Pain that still lingers
like pomegranate kisses.
Spilling blood and purpura
into nipples squeezed until
there was nothing but you saying
‘We should die’.

I wish I bled for you.
Into a bouquet
you’re supposed to give someone
not caught between love and
abuse, uncoloured and
still misunderstood.

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