Elizabeth muller

these are not metaphors

CONTENT WARNING: DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE, SUGGESTIONS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Once I saw you naked and you apologized for being 30, for having a body filled out by three decades of living.

 

Once I adored it, its softness and weight, how it heightened every nerve when pressed against mine. 

 

Once I said it could be rough but then you slapped my face when I didn't expect it and I bit my lip to stop the tears.

 

Once we smoked weed beforehand and I swear I can still feel the faint pulse of that night echoing soft somewhere like an explosion that reverberates through space.

 

Once you held a gun up to my head and traced my ribcage with a blade until I told you, "stop." 

 

Once I shouldered your drunk body back to the hotel room in Kraków. How different the weight of it felt then, sloppy and disorienting like betrayal.

 

Once that pressure was such pleasure and then I hated every ounce. 

 

Once I forgave you.

 

Once I forgave you again.

 

Once I remembered that, after all, I know just how the shape of your head feels against my hand.

27 February, 2021

Elizabeth Muller is a New Jersey writer whose work has appeared in Catapult, Maudlin House, XRAY Lit, and elsewhere. You can find her on Twitter @eawrites