To The Man I Wrongly Taught How To Love (Poem)

Words and art by Pardis Alia.

 

When I look at you, I see wasted fruit
Like your belly is filled with sour seeds
Crops I mis-planted and concealed from the sun
And let grow in the bitter of you
The truth is, I taught love wrong to you

I convinced you that you were my sun and stars
And never left room for myself in the same sky
I laughed at jokes designed to hurt me
And disguised their bruises as badges of honor
Hard-earned from our “shared” sense of humor
I leapt at any opportunity to help you grow
And let myself shrink for being consumed by your goals
I turned the other cheek to your cruelty
And let you red both sides of my face

I taught you that your unloving was loving
I taught you this with my devotion
I taught you this with my laughter
I taught you this with my silence

You are grown
But your heart is still stunted in infancy
And somehow I believed that being complicit in my own abuse
Might raise you into a man worthy of tasting
The sweet love fruit of me