Bittersweet Loving

November 23, 20178 min read

Love is like an addiction. No matter how much we want to stop at times, we just can’t. No matter how much love hurts us, we always make our way back to it. This poem is about a woman who is strung on and addicted to a guy yet can’t find the will power to leave. She feeds off of his love and fears she won’t know who she is without him.

One night, I looked at the moon, and the moon told me:

Why don’t you leave him if he makes you cry?

I looked back at the moon and said, would you ever leave your sky?

Because the loving this man gives me is actually a blessing in disguise

You see, this is the first man that ever made me feel beautiful

The first guy that ever said he loved me

What you need to realize is that not only is this man my sky, but he is my heavens

He soars high in the sky and flies amongst the birds

This is the same man that I gave up everything for

And I know he doesn’t mean everything he says

And I know he’s too drunk to remember the pain he causes, and that’s what makes it okay……right?

Because when he touches me, it sends this paralyzing chill down my spine

Like how was I living before he came into my life

He is my spirit and soul

And how was I able to survive without my soul


Why did it take me this long to realize everything he’s done to me

Why do I plaster up all the bruises with makeup


But he says he loves me

And he always buys me lilies the next day….my favorite

And he always says, “Well baby you got me mad”

And I know I get him mad, and I’m working on it

So I make him dinner the next night

And he’s on his phone at the dinner table, and he’s knows how much I hate that, so I take the phone from his hands, and I put it off to the side and continue to eat

He looks at me with this sense of venom in his eyes

He looks at me like I might’ve lost my mind or something


The next day I’m too weak to get out of bed

Too weak to brush my hair

My body covered in so many black and blue bruises, it looks like I am painted as the midnight sky

When he comes home from going to the bar the night before, he climbs on top of me like it’s all okay and begins plastering my neck of his once sweet kisses with his alcohol stained lips, as if that would make it all better

“Well baby you got me mad,” he says

And I grit my teeth and feel the tears burning my eyes, but I don’t dare let them fall

For the fear that if they do, their saltiness would sting my wounds

For the fear that if they do, he would think that he hurt me, that he controls me

But he doesn’t

And I am not weak


But I need him

For he is my addiction

I feed off of him

And his love runs through my veins the same way heroin does

I shoot him up my arm the same way heroin addicts do

His love a painful bliss

I’m an addict of his love, and I’m afraid that if I were to let go, that I wouldn’t be able to handle the withdrawal

I would shake and itch for his touch, for his alcohol stained lips, for his fingers to find their way to the buckle of my belt


I fear that if I let go, I won’t remember who I was before him

That he has consumed all that I am and ever was

That when I finally have the courage to leave, I will have nowhere to go because of the fact that all my friends and family told me he was no good, so I chose him over them


So I use the little strength I have left, and I push his limp sleeping body off of me

I get out of bed, run a bath

and sink to the bottom of it

Leaning back and letting the water wade on the brim of my nose

I lie there…patiently waiting

For what I do not know


By the time I get out of the bath my skin is shriveled up like a prune, and he is still sleeping

And I watch him lie there peacefully

And I clench my fists so tight that my bruised and beaten knuckles turn pale

And I just stand there

Surveying him


Then I start thinking of all the things that I could do right now


I could kill him…….I could kill him

Or I could pack my bags and leave, never to show my face again


I think I like the second choice better


And as I’m standing there, watching him in his slumber, the tears from before find their way down my face, and before I know it, a waterfall of pain and fear and hate and disgust and love……and love flow down my face

And I wish I was that person who ran and who found the strength to be strong

But my feet are glued to our bedroom floor, and I cannot move


So I stand and watch

And when I can no longer stand and watch, I go to the kitchen to prepare a feast

Because I know he’ll be hungry when he awakes

And when I’m done cooking I pour myself a glass of wine

I notice a new bouquet of lilies lying on the table, and I wait and wait for him to wake up


And when he does, he comes around and kisses my forehead, and I flinch back

And he goes “Babygirl, I’m so sorry! You know I ain’t never meant to hurt you. You just…..well you just got me mad.”

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Esme Marfo

I'm a 19-year-old sophomore at GWU. Love reading, writing, and listening to music. I'm also interested in social justice and equality. #UnapologeticallyBlack #BLM