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a poem by Sarah Alderman


I am well-versed in self destruction
Because what I do, I do well
And I can hurt myself better
Than you or anyone ever could
Or would ever want to
Vicious lover I take after a 5th of liquor
What you want is
What you think I am is
A victim

I am well-versed in predators
And you are just a puppet
Who refuses to see his strings
And I am the actor, director, playwright
Who has seen this stage
Far too many times
Not to know how this will end
For your sake we will not
Name this act
Even if we both understand
It is called Low

I am well-versed in rock bottoms
This is only love, this is only fun
For one night only
As long as we believe that this means
More to the other
Than it does to ourselves

I am well-versed in make-believe
I like pretending
Dressing up for the part
As your favorite lush
Buying you drinks on ladies night
Because I always drink for free
I only pay in the morning
When I wake to see you still sleeping
Long after last call
Long after the curtains have closed

I am well-versed in small and empty mercies
I feel a tiny and terrible pity
For what we do so far from home
Fearing what our absent lovers know
Fearing we will learn
How they fill their beds
And the empty spots in their lives
When we are gone

I am well-versed in contradiction
While I lay beside you
And only think of him

© by Sarah Alderman
Gutter Eloquence Magazine ~ Issue #23 ~ Sept 2012    return to top