Poems and Poetry

Erin McLaughlin

After the Fact | A Poem by Erin McLaughlin

You loved me for a little while
When I was the spring
Clean and fresh and new
To you
Beautiful days and wet rain
You always said Paris was most beautiful
After a storm

You loved me until I stopped acting for you
Until the paint on my face washed away
So the only thing left to see
Were my bare bones and bruises
The scars burnt onto my cheeks
That I had so carefully

The winter came too quickly
And after the first fall
I grew dirty and grey
Cold to the point of
You discovered
That you couldn’t be near me
Without a sweater on

I became more of a person to you
Consequently, less of a lover
You wanted a daydream
Not a woman
Not a girl who blew dirt out of her nose
And had teeth marks on her feet

I was not a white bed sheet
That grew brighter with the suns aid
I was skin
That grew darker with her kiss
Time did not make us beautiful
We did not bear more fruit each summer
Did not blossom brighter each year
Time destroyed our bones
Ate away our organs
Enlisted calluses onto our heels

We were a cup of tea
Grown bitter
Steeped too long
But we drank it anyway
Because it was the only warm thing we had