you must know
i was only capable of loving you
because i hated myself at the time

who in their right would choose a yolk
of unjustified mistrust
degradation
and mutilation

i threw everything you ever gave me
off the terwelleger bridge
into the little miami river
drunk and laughing
at 3 o’clock in the morning

a fetid dump wasn’t good enough
that shit needed to see the ocean again

but i kept two things

a photo album you gave me
all pictures of you
kissing pictures of me

to remind myself that i did matter
i did have worth and always will

the face of evil must be remembered
to better warn the other villagers

and a copy of the only honest poem you ever wrote

three days after bloody sheets and hands
as two rivers converged in pittsburgh

“lift your cup to this immortal passing
this child of ours who will not every cry
then no tear is shed without love lasting”

that’s the only thing you ever did
that i don’t hate you for