This Thing I own

My body stares at me
as if I have harmed her,
rejects me when I say
I care for her and curses
 
me because her short black
nappy hair falls out when
she showers. When she stares
in the mirror, dark cheeks
 
are hollowed, and skin stretches
against thinning bones.
 
She says I’m ignorant,
refuses to see she is
hurting. Says my silence
kills her each day that passes.
 
I want to tell her she’s 
wrong but I know she will
not listen. Instead I
watch her limp around our
apartment in pain.
 
Our silence sets in, her
stomach growls in anger
at me for not cooking
and when she thinks I can’t
 
see, she stares at herself
as if she hates the person
she has become.
 
But sometimes there are days
when we say I love you.
 
I take her out on the
town, feed her mojitos,
margaritas, and want
to remind her the
fights, silence, barriers,
isn’t as damaging as she
thinks it is.
 
But I do not say all of this aloud.
 
Instead I ease us into
our bed, she refuses me
a word, for making her
do something she did not
want to.
 
When the morning rises
we are both sore from my
abuse: our heads pound, her
legs and arms are heavy
and we do not remember 
 
passionate dances shared
on dance floors. She refuses
to look at me until
I say sorry; her failing
eyesight flickers to me
 
and I know she forgives
me though she does not want
to.
 
She waits for me to loudly
proclaim her presence is
more than a body that
she is loved 
and will always be
 
loved. When the day ends we
sit together, I rub
her rough skin with lavender
healing oils. She moans she
 
will leave soon and I 
remember I love my 
body, and though she stews
in anger, I know my 
body loves me too.

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