A man

A man can make you smile

Even if you don’t mean to

So afraid you are to see

The ice setting in his eyes

When you refuse to act “pretty”

A man can make your eyes shine

From the tears that you shed

On his heavy silences

His scathing words

When he tells you you’re nothing

That your beauty has faded

And what more can you be

Than a young and beautiful face

A man can make your heart beat faster

The second he walks in

The air is sucked out

The laughs die down

You can hardly take your eyes

Away from him

As you wonder

“Has anyone hurt him today?”

‘Cause if he’s hurt then you’ll be

Your heart races as you get closer

Slowly you paint a smile on your lips

And long again for his absence

A man can make your hands shake

You’re setting his plate on the table

Barely daring to meet his gaze

He jokes about how you

Sweet, docile you

Are his favorite meal

But you’re no fool

His verdict, you know, is implacable

You don’t feel confident today

All day, you felt your lower back breaking

Pain eating you, bite after bite

Month after month

But you got up and cooked this food

That he just spat at you

The thread holding your sanity

Has never felt so thin

This man sometimes

Leaves you speechless

A lump growing in your throat

You’ve never liked asking

But what choice you have

When you have nothing

You’ve been looking at him for some time

As you try to choke your pride

And remember the gaping mouths

Waiting for you somewhere

His touch makes you quiver

Your body never ceases to protest

The price that you have to pay

A man can make you blush

Your skin turning violently red

Emulating the ground beneath you

You find yourself

Scraping and flooding

Never freed of his scent

Never freed of his touch

Wondering if you’ll ever feel whole again

He can make you his

His thing, his caged bird

He built walls around you

While you were busy loving him

You lost your voice

From so much time wasted in silence

When any word from you

Made him feel unworthy

From the many times

That he looked down on you

Asking you if it was

THAT time of the month

When you tried telling him

That he made you feel unworthy

You became invisible

Though you felt like you were finally seen

But your freedom was the fortress

That, all along,

He longed to besiege

A man can leave you breathless

Shivering under his hands

Your body forgetting that it ever stood straight

You have never felt so close to the earth

So small and painfully alive

All your muscles tending

Fearing and expecting the next blow

He knows just how to blow you away

You finally stop fighting

As he leaves you

Bloody and whimpering

He knows just who he is

He is a man

Only some men will make you cry

And cry with you

When they let you in

Taking you behind the mask

To see the little boy who wanting

To love and being loved

Was told to go and conquer

And lost bits and pieces of himself

On his path to manhood

The man willing to heal and learn

Will not be a man

Or so they will say

But he won’t mind

Because he will be much more

He will be human

Magdalee Brunache

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