I thought I used to know
what that word meant –
to give up my resistance
abandon my revolutions
for any scrap of peace
that would be afforded


was delivered on perfectly circular lips
that brokered no negotiations
as she kissed me into submission


was a secret affair
love notes folded into hearts
under ruinous bills
stealing any moment I had alone
for herself


was a ghoulish possession and I her medium
for the steady procession of spirits
my doors were always open to
her dominion over my limbs
my thoughts became her vassal
her devotee her Renfield
my soul became a haunted house
with bottles stashed in the walls like corpses


I become undead
living only with her blood in my mouth like mother’s milk
but I can never have enough
and I fool myself into thinking
this is what I want
this gothic love is all I deserve


sometimes the enchantment will lift
and I see that I am going to die
this isn’t love this is control
and she will talk me into
my own grave


is a zombie walking onto holy ground
looking to be smitten
painfully – pitifully aware
of their rotting flesh this living death


is accepting I will never fully lift this curse
that it will always be waiting
by back-lit liquor
ready to pour me back
into her boneyard


is hearing just how much more wretched I can become
but knowing it’s not as horrid
as the monster I became


is being born cursed
and I am holding onto my own death
this glass is my spindle
splintered into my hands


is learning it’s easier to live
with open palms

in my Surrender
I drop my poisoned shield

and live

© chris DINGLEY 2016
first performed at Alt101 – Slam Poetry, Ottawa


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