The Floral Knife
It always starts out the same,
eyes meet from across the room, green and
curious. Green and mystical. Green and coy,
and ready to kill.
Beginnings are exciting,
he is teasing you in the kitchen now
because he likes you
but you heard he has a girlfriend.
He must not be into her.
You are sitting in the back of the restaurant,
all your tables have paid and left
he sits in front of you
whispers something, you laugh
you think that your heart will fall out of your chest,
you think you want to explore this.
Two weeks later,
he is waking up next to you on the couch,
says he will leave her for you.
You are captivated.
You are enamored.
You are spending all your time with him,
he is crazy about you.
You go out for drinks after work,
he says “Where were you?”
You think it is love when he is protective.
You think you’ve finally found someone that cares.
You think it is love when he is jealous.
You think it is love when he tries to change you,
make you better.
That’s all he’s doing though.
Two months go by and you haven’t seen your friends
They understand, you’re in love.
He tells you that your nail-biting disgusts him.
You have the hands of a child, you know.
You should start paying rent if you’re
going to be here so much.
You never do anything nice for him.
You never do anything right.
Your friends aren’t good friends.
Don’t see them.
He tells you he likes your kindness,
tells you it’s your best trait.
Why are you letting him treat you so badly?
You’re too nice.
You need to stand up for yourself.
You need some backbone.
He just doesn’t want to see you get hurt,
he is sorry he hurt you.
Wake him up with a blowjob,
be a fucking woman.
She did things
you won’t do.
You wonder why you are crying so much.
Your friends must be the problem,
not him. It must just be your job.
It must just be your parents.
It must just be you.
He says he will change,
you believe him. He says
let’s pretend the last six months didn’t happen.
He turns his hands into razor blades
when he holds you at night
pretending he could save you
by cutting you open.
By Ali Guerra
Ali Guerra is a poet and writer currently living in Florida but hopefully making her way to the west coast soon. Her work has been featured in Thought Catalog and she is now working on her first collection of poetry which will consist of both old and new work. You can find her in cafes people-watching or drinking wine in her bedroom.