Friend(ship)

By: Steven Underwood

A Poem on failed relationships.

***

If I ever regretted the first bump

On the bus between me and you,

I do now.

We once stood on the same road

That now converges

Across the ebb and flow of time and

I don’t know when did the stake

Wedge us apart.

I found solace in the pain

That you inflicted

With silence,

With ignorance

With treatment

And

Mistreatment

The duality of your sins.

I told myself love, platonic or romantic,

Hurts.

I cast myself in the play

I participated in that narrative.

It killed me.

But, I learned our lives were sometimes,

Like the phoenix,

Ever-rising.

I fooled myself into that narrative.

Little did I know that

My fire was not infinite.

My heat would cool.

I can no longer suffer the agony and so I

Sing to the Baptist choir a salvation,

Or, at least, I hope I do.

 

Do you know that in some parts we are infamous?

We writhe and twist and bite and snarl and snap and break and scream and shout and banter and bark and hurt and hurt and hurt,

But when does it end?

When do we stop being the villains of a narrative, of a song, of a poem, of a world that is not our own?

Can we cease and desist?

Just seek to be friends?

Amicable in the silence?

Okay with just what is already there?

I think we could.

I just want you to talk to me.

I don’t like the silence.

In the silence, I feel like I am shattering and breaking.

I think about the absence in darkness, the liquor of the mind —

I feel my chest quake –

I feel warm wetness across my eyes –

I think mine eyes leak and drip and dribble and steam –

I don’t like this feeling, this silence is too loud –

I just want you to talk to me –

I just want to know that it’s okay.

You’re my best friend, and I’m yours –

I signed my name in self-drawn blood across the dotted lines of contract:

to be your shield –

to always be your shield.

So please, obey the terms and conditions and talk to me!

No one else gets it!

You do, so open your mouth and speak the aria and keep the moths in,

because I know, that sometimes, when you speak death escapes your lips and condemns me!

I only just wanted you to talk to me.

To care about me.

To be my friend,

Because I never knew I could have one.

Because I was neglected.

Because I was abused

Because I’ve lived in my kin’s shadows

Because you stand out while even in shadows

Because when I met you, I captured just a little of that light and turned it into my might and sat on a throne and knew I could shatter bone.

You’re my friend, I know you are.

I just –

I figured –

I always thought you would show me you were my friend.

Instead your silent.

Instead your mean.

Instead you justify your cruelty

Instead I’m second fiddle.

Instead, you don’t like to speak to me.

You treat me different.

You  are disgusted by my presence.

You think I’m emotional.

You say I’m superficial.

You called me a charity case.

You treated me like I was the nail and you were the hammer

Always smashing my back down when I Stood out.

Making sure I was stuck in one place, and could never grow.

Instead, you never supported me.

Never opened my books, read my words, spoke of me when I was ignored.

Instead you told him it was okay to hate me for being born a way.

You said my fire was a figment of my imagination.

That the burning light was your reflection standing beside me.

You hypocrite

You liar.

You monster.

Have you ever felt emotion?

Have you ever cared for someone when they didn’t worship you?

Do you only care when you’re on top?

Because you lash out when others do better than you.

Because you spit on those beneath you.

Because you manipulate those who love you.

I think I hate you.

I think somewhere deep down I hate you.

I hurts my heart, but I do.

I resent you.

I hate that you are not supposed to be anything to me.

That I shouldn’t care.

But I do.

And I hate you more fr it.

Because This hate could be love.

It could be our brotherhood.

It could be us against the world,

Side-by-side,

But it won’t happen.

Because you’re so silent!

Well, here is me:

being silent too.

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