Momma told me not to trust boys

She ached at every love song I played, sighed at every rant I made

Love was not to hurt me

But I was convinced it was an enemy waiting to stab me in the back

I knew fondness

But had not grown to appreciate affection

You see, papa was a diligent man

He loved in the hours of dark

When nobody watched

That is when he came to life for momma, that is when he loved her

I grew to be like momma

Accepting, staying in place even when my presence was not needed

Perhaps I was afraid love would leave me

Perhaps I was just afraid of life dragging me by the ends of my hair

I did not tread lightly

I dove into his arms and loved him more than myself

until the love for myself died

I shed old skin, sprouted into the embodiment of neediness

Momma cried when papa hurt her

I isolated when he ignored me, rejected my efforts, pushed me away and found other subjects of his affection

How could I be better, better than her? Better than the new subjects of his love?

They were just bodies, he told me, just pretty little bodies

But their bodies, I said, their bodies drew in your gaze

The way he looked at me months ago, they earned what I had been fighting for for ages, in mere minutes

So momma told me not to trust boys

and I began to run far away from love