When The Wild Passion Of A Toxic Lover Swallowed Me Whole: A Listicle

This deeply moving poem explores how love and passion can veer into the realm of toxicity. What happens when we let love destroy us?

1. I looked at you with all the cacophony of the wild in my eyes.
2. You did not flinch.
3. My demons played hopscotch in your backyard.
4. You threw them scraps from under your table.
5. My soul hollowed at the sound of your name to accommodate space, they shrunk from within, my lungs filled with your breath, you were me, all of me.
6. Your eyes swallowed me whole. Slowly, slowly, till there was nothing left of me. Funnelled into the iris, no easy way out, right into the centre of your existence.
7. My skin was a map and your kisses were home. You inked me till it hurt, and then I believed all the places that didn’t hurt weren’t home.
8. The music of your voice was my only compass. Your best song was the way you said my name.
9. You filled yourself with vestiges of everything I was till I was nothing, just a floating apparition. I was sinking, I was scared, I was stupid, I was sad.
10. My demons are all dead, your plates all clean, and my compass shows me broken North and battered Souths.
11. You’re breaking, you’re fading. You’re calling out my name but it doesn’t sound like music anymore.
12. I’m gasping for air.
13. You’re drowning, I’m dying. You’re calling this love, you’re kissing me under water, I kiss you back to only realise this isn’t a kiss, this is stealing. This is stealing all my air. This isn’t fair, you’re flinching when you look at my half empty eyes.
14. I’m sorry, I’m lost. I’m sorry, I’m dying.
15. You’re not sorry, you won’t let go, for the love of life, you’re strangling my neck, you’re taking your first whiff of air, you’re breathing, your lungs full of life and your fingers cutting through my neck, I’m dying, I’m sorry I’m dying.

Now I’m half alive, looking for broken walls and shattered glass vases, blood and nail marks, and pain tattooed onto the skin like ink with a broken compass for company.

Because you taught me that any place that doesn’t hurt, isn’t home.

Image credit: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

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