It's been almost a year
since he told her he was numb
and that she wasn't pretty enough to sleep with anymore.
She's been asking for honesty all this time
and he was sorry but he was "just being honest"
like it was the simplest feeling
.A feeling and an excuse.
What she always asked for
but never wanted.
So she sent her babies to her sister's
so she could be alone with the cold
and painted pictures of trees with leaves of purples and blues.
Trees you would never see in real life,but made beautiful pictures.
She searched through her months, trying to pick out the lies like they were berries
hoping all it would take were eggs, flour and sugar to bake them
and turn them into something sweet she could choke down.
Because her mouth tasted like metal
and every kiss before this hung on her lips like someone desperate to jump off a bridge.
He said he didn't leave for three reasons
the last one being he loved her.
But it was the last one and it was like it wasn't a reason at all.
The paint made her calmer and by the time he came home,
both the tears and the trees had dried.
They both said hello and he followed her to the bedroom.
Apparently she had gotten prettier in the last few hours
or he wanted to fuck out the honesty.
And its been almost a year since she took that picture.
That black and gray one where her eyes still stained with old mascara even days later
and she looked broken and sad.
But broken and sad makes great art so at least she could get art out of all of this.
It took a rusted city and a summer
to make her smiles come easier
.And he tells her he loves her
and its the first thing he tells her now.
His skin is warmer
and her hair is darker
and it seemed to make all the difference.
But she still counts the number of times they make love in a week
and tells him what a great man he is b/c all men want to feel like winners, she heard.
She makes his favorite meals and listens to his electronic music
hoping it all stops him from feeling numb.
Because she can't be a lie again.
Something he's settling for because of the mess it would make if he left.
A terrible mess.