The Things I Wish You Would Let Me Do

Let me cut my hair – no, let me shave it.

Because I did not grow it for you,

and I’ll shave it for me.

Let me sing. Loud. Louder than you. 

Not just to you, at midnight;

when I slit the silence with Radiohead’s “Creep”,

Only to sing you to sleep.

No.

Let me belt, on a stage;

because it holds me till I sicken of being held,

and it does not crumble beneath me.

Like you do. 

Let me dance. Badly. Terribly. Always.

Because I can, and I want to.

And I don’t care if I can’t riddle my hips to a rhythm,

Like her.

Let me write. With adverbs. With too many words. With too little emotion.

Because you’re a cliché.

And I shouldn’t write you, or love you, or want you clawing at the pages of my story.

But I need to write her. A velvet veil of hair; light against the wisps of hazel in her eyes; dark against her pastel skin.

And how you fell into her. Because I left home for university, and you still worked at that gym of ours. Then one day she walked in. And suddenly, she was there; and I wasn’t.

And how you fell out of me. Just for a while, but you kept me anyway. Because when I came back home, and asked you if you loved her, truly; you handed me the plastic spoon we shared over melted ice-cream, and swiftly said, “yes”. And you kept me anyway.

So, let me eat. A lot. And then vomit.

Because that’s how I cry.

Let me drink. Whiskey. Neat. A bottle. Or two.

Because my father is an alcoholic,

And relentless, you remind me.

You’re just like your father,” you say.

And I let you lash your palm against my face;

and I feel like my father, whom I hate.

And I listen

To you.   

But now you don’t get to say.

Now, I get to taste the liquor on my lips.

I get to paint them,

with a golden Whiskey glisten.

And slur curses

At you.

Let me fuck. Anyone but you.

So I can forget the glint in your cocoa eyes under the dimmed lights of Room 308, at that Stella Resort by the beach back home. When I was seventeen and it was five years ago today, a little before sunset; and your naive hands slid beneath my skirt as the sun slipped into the sea. 

And you said, “I love you” as you took me, for you.

Like you did each night since. Like the sea takes the sun. 

Let me breathe. By myself. Without your air.

Because I don’t need it anymore.

Let me feel. Let me feel pain, both brutal and beautiful. 

Brutal, like your hungry lips smearing her ruby red lipstick, and your weight pressing her perfect nakedness onto our sheets.

Beautiful, like the day I fed you strawberries and Nutella on the roof of my building, and the wind blew our picnic away. And you told me you “lo-”, no, “liked” me; because you never say the L-word first.

Let me ache.

Because without pain, without pain, without pain, I have nothing. 

Let me leave. Just let me try.

But no, you cannot let me.

So, “leave me,” I beg. 

Because  I cannot leave you.

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