How You Left

You took one look at the thick of my cotton mouth, 
practiced pout, bare feet on floorboards 
and you pegged me as a runner, 
a thing always chasing its own tail, an animal, 
a little girl who means well but doesn’t understand 
that it hurts when she pushes other people down; 
you knew I’d shove you around, 
pick you apart like puzzle pieces, 
stick my fingers in your cracks and split you open 
to see the inside 
because I am so damn naive 
that I am always expecting a sweet, soft center 
even when there’s none to be had. 
You did not want to be smashed open 
and dived greedily into. 
You pressed your mouth to my fingers and toes, 
wrote prose into my palms 
where every other line began with “No” 
and ended with a reason 
that you could not bear to stay.

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