Unrequited Love in 3 Parts

This piece is written by Melania-Luisa Marte, one of Spicy‘s Guest Contributors. Melania is a first generation American born and raised in the Lower East Side of New York City. Her multi-cultured upbringing inspires her to write about navigating the world as a native Spanish speaker of Afro-Dominican descent. Melania’s poetry explores many subjects, including her Afro-Latinx roots and culture, intersectional feminism, and self-love.

1. This man does not want you. This man does not want you. This man knows what he wants and it is not you. You are something worth wanting. You are worthy of wanting to be wanted. This man does not want you. This man wants for you to not want to him.

2. It will happen slowly. You will pretend like you don’t feel his love clawing itself out of you. Leaving scratches on your chest. Your collar bones sore. Aching for mercy. Drained dry of all the muddy red dripping out of you. Dark shadows linger over your bed. This is not an exorcism. You will say. But the fear of how dark and bleak your life becomes without him is haunting.

3. Light the candle he gifted you. The one you saved as ritual for the nights his shadow made your body canopy. How silky rough the linen sheet you crocheted out of his dreads. What a sandy beach his mustache, you dipped the tip of your fingers in. Scale through the layers. Find shell casings and shiny pearls. For the last time, before the night burns out, you will watch this flame sway you into nostalgia. The scent of mercy and funeral. Lay the ashes of what could’ve been into this sea of a bed. And watch him sail away.

Image courtesy of Nikki Freyermuth