Poem: The Art Of Manipulation

You took your sweet time 
Seeing my heart, exploring my mind
And I,
I was flattered.

Mistaking understanding for love,
Not seeing why you had made it 
Your full time job
Getting to know every piece of my puzzle;
Not knowing 
Every question you asked 
Was a document you would file away 
To open up at a later hour
When you had found just the right moment to use it against me.

Every inch of my heart 
You had explored so inquisitively  
Was a map of all the weak points 
You could bury your claws in later.

And every magical night you chose to stay
And ask what I was thinking,
Coaxing me to reveal the contents 
Of what you admiringly called
"My beautiful mind"
While I gazed into the stars 
Were the moments you would use
To map out 
Every single thing 
You could use 
To get me to stay 
When I knew I should go;
Piecing together all you knew of me
Like a dot to dot
Of the constellations.

And I,
In shock 
Would cry my tears in disbelief
Not recognizing all along 
How this was happening.

How each time you got close enough to see beyond
All the shallow reasons everybody else loved me
Were merely opportunities to secure control over a life
You would ravenously consume to fit within 
The vast caverns of your broken soul;
A body you would use for all the bloody nights
You needed someone to fight off all the demons
That you would welcome in through open door;
A breath you would use
To press your lips upon and inhale 
Everything left from tired lungs.

Till it was far too late, 
I couldn't recognize
How what was disguised as love
Was well dressed manipulation;
How a dream come true
Disrobed an illusion
To reveal a nightmare.

-a. b. martin


Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

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