Breathe You In

A poem about toxic, unrequited love

In this poem, the speaker talks about the love of their life. Unfortunately, this relationship is starkly unhealthy, as the love is unrequited. The speaker can’t seem to accept that, however, much to the dismay of their lover. While the lover does their best to keep the speaker at a reasonable distance, the speaker keeps searching for something more, something to match their own intensity.

i inhale.

you exhale.

i kiss you and feel the warm viability coursing through my body, coursing through my veins, coursing through me.

you exhale.

i hold you close and promise to never let you go, in sickness or in health, in happiness or in despair.

you exhale.

i cross the line between fiction and reality, life and death, love and lust. i reach for your knife in my back and swallow it, erasing any evidence of malice we may possess. i open my arms and beseech you to enter, to become one with me, as i have already become one with you—or what i believe to be you.

you exhale.

it should bother me that every time i breathe you in,

you breathe me out.

but what can i do?

we’re both toxic—and you seem fully aware of that fact. i’m the one who can’t bear to let you go.


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Written by Jalen M. Brown

Jalen is a 16-year-old African-American Writer, Wannabe-YouTuber, and Social Activist from Atlanta, Georgia. His likes include eating, sleeping, and complaining; for him, that's the holy trinity. His dislikes range from a variety of things, from Donald J. Trump to mayonnaise — and math, but that's a given. A dreamer at heart, Jalen has a plethora of career goals, but his main goal is to move to New York City after high-school and maintain a fulfilling career in creative writing.