This is not love By Larissa Mota

This is not love

Was that supposed to be romantic?
Sleeping beauty and Leto and that girl on the news
unaware of the danger that comes in the wind,
that lays down to steal a kiss and takes away
a mouthful of flesh, instead.

Terror opening eyes, forcing breathes past
trembling lips, in the same old narrative
of desire as instinct as an excuse for all hurt:
the realization of a trust misplaced
that will slither into their dreams at night
and play the same scene again and again.

It is the chemical scent of a hospital E.R.
that might as well be a darkroom, burning
the image onto the back of their minds,
red-hot and inescapable and just another
lesson that history books skip over,
because victims are survivors are not
the ones taking ink to write victory.

They have hold pleas between their teeth,
made a cage from the shame inside themselves,
shaped their denial into a safe place,
because where else could they find
both protection and penitence if not inside
the body that is still theirs, is spite of it all?

My dear, the dizziness from that drink
is not the magic of love at first sight.
Fairy tales may talk of hope, but they are also
about the monsters that live among us.

By Larissa Mota


Larissa Mota is a Brazilian writer with an interest in international affairs, feminism and foreign languages. Her work has been previously featured in Words Dance Magazine, Bottlecap Press and The Rising Phoenix Review, and she is currently working on her debut poetry book. She can be reached at her personal blog:

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