I remember at this time in my life there was a drug dealer living next door.
At all hours there would be someone knocking on the back door,
or the window, sometimes for up to an hour.
I thought, as I lay awake, that I was like these addicts, unable to help myself,
knocking again and again without an answer.
I wanted to go back into that house on fire
and rescue what had made me feel alive.
I did not see the cruelty that he’d shown me,
I remembered only the way he was tender,
deeply sweet and soft.
I thought of the statuary that Bernini created-
how he echoed Michelangelo
when he said that he shed blood in his works.
The hand against the thigh of Proserpina,
her white flesh yielding under the fingers of her lover as
if they were both coming to life before your eyes.
But they are frozen in that moment,
as I was frozen.
Somehow, to him,
I had become a wicked siren who drew men to their demise.
I was a suspect in every situation that made him miserable.
No matter how I tried to pull him out of his dark cell,
I only sent him deeper into hiding.
He could not remain that one person I was first introduced to.
I tried to sleep through this heartbreak,
but everywhere I found myself
there was an angel holding a lily out to me,
reminding me of this cage,
and a cruel mortality.