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Benjamin Newman #02049550
11/2/2022

Being As Islands

John Donne said, “No man is an island entire of itself…”
If that’s true I must be a bridge with ends disconnected
As I stand alone atop my block of concrete and steel
Rebar floating out into the infinite
I can see you on your own patch of bridge
But what can span the gap from me to you?

We’d make love to “Your Hand In Mine” and “Together We’re Heavy”
We were two broken people burrowing in holes
That could never hold us
(You always said that we “loved” on borrowed time)
I still didn’t know myself then which is how I know you so well
The private hells we created for ourselves forgotten
While we laid tangled on bed sheets
Heavy breathing, sweat damp and tattooed skin glistening
Our beaten hearts beating is the tattoo still ringing in my sleep
By then I was in too deep
But I can’t turn off my feelings like some machine.

I knew from the beginning you could never leave him
Even if you stayed only for your kid
The stretch marks never bothered me
It was the bruises he’d give that did
I learned not to mention them though
We’d just play pretend until you went home
You knew that they’d soon be putting me away
The reason I was safe for those weekend escapes.

 

 

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