Betrayal is the breaking of a promise.
I swore in my heart to stay, dear one,
though I never said it out loud.
Our interlocked fingers had burnt down to ash
long before I let go,
only the shell of it left,
like a log that holds its shape
while its inside turn to grey powder,
ready to burst into a cloud of the past.
Is that the same as breaking?
I promised I would try,
cut myself open one last time
and found I was empty from all the trying.
I was so tired, honey.
Betrayal sounds like willful destruction,
to throw away someone’s naked gifts,
like broken china on the dying grass.
I never wanted to break;
just your permission to leave.
You see it as failure
– and I can hardly blame you –
as I take a sledgehammer
to our castle in the air.
Shaken and dazed,
I step out from the ruins,
blinking in the glow
of colours I’d forgotten
in the years of our ash-grey chamber.
Knees buckled into rubble
and old picture-frame glass,
your heart bleeds through your chest,
and the scars on my own
weep in recognition.
Forgive me, darling, for changing my mind.