to sir with love

I had thought to

kill him with kindness.

Perfectly pressed and poised,

I withstood him

as strong women ought.

Careful not to raise my voice I

fed him the spotlight and

all of the space in the world entire and

unsatisfied with

his own

enormous

space

He devoured mine.

Kill him with kindness

As I choked on my own tongue.

I took the high road,

unpaved and wild

While he claimed the road most traveled,

And I, on my own wretched road,

remained locked and dying

in the deep and the dark.

Kill him with kindness

As I spit out my broken teeth

My face crushed into his refuse

My lungs claiming all that is left for me—

The teeming mess of him.

With my dying breaths I chance to

gaze upon him

To see at last what they see

To know about him what they know:

That he is worthy of unyielding devotion;

That I, kingmaker, and him, king

Have played our parts as commanded,

And at last we will see each other

Unburdened and unbruised and equal.

But he is already past me

Pulling taut the string tied

around the neck of the next.

Eyes gleaming and afraid

She moves forward

And is unmade.

I thought to kill him with kindness

But kindness killed me instead.