Can You Hold Me

I hold my breath
I’m waiting for your voice
I’m waiting for the words
I’m waiting for the question
Please
Please
Please don’t ask me
Your pale cheeks are stained with salt
The pillow beside us is sodden
I watch the raindrops fall from your dark eyes
Each one a lie as it crosses your lips
Your sobs become unbearable
But I can’t leave
I can’t go
I have to sit with fear as my company
Just don’t
Please
Please don’t ask me
Not tonight
You told me you loved me
I learn love means weapons
You told me you needed me
I learn being needed means having an empty clip
You told me you were sorry
I learn apologies can’t be my ammunition
You told me we had good times, too
I learn good times are your target practice
I hear a steady breath
You breathe but I can’t
I watch your chest rise
I realize only words
Can turn a moment into a lifetime
Please
Please
Please, no
Not this time
Please
“Can you hold me?”
You know my answer before I part my lips
You’ve twisted it into my mouth, onto my tongue
No
No
I don’t want to
Because you hurt me
You hurt me
You hurt…
“Of course.”

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