Neither of us was ever really into it. Not if we’re being honest.
In the beginning, Netflix and chill was what you said, but with the screen still loading, your fingers fought with my blouse. I heard you mutter shock and awe. I thought you were protecting me. But on holidays, my mom asked me why I looked so sad, then one 4th of July, where the blue bruise under my horn-rimmed Ray-Bans came from, shaped like star.
I waited, waiting for the change, for US to happen, but eyes skirting elsewhere, dick tingling from someone else’s insides. I wonder: how many children have you fathered and forgotten?
You’re careful not to pay with credit card, when you go out of town for quote business. But I know how much we make. And what’s left doesn’t add up. You, devil man, sleeping next to me, wreak of booze-soaked debt, waking only to club me with lectures about my student loans, chains I can’t discharge.
It’s my fault, too. I went along with it. I held my tongue. During the National Anthems, I stood up next to you when I should have listened to my knees, crumbled. It takes so much effort not to shatter, to hold US together.
And then, having not seen you in months, just traces of you from the bank’s overdraft email notices, you appear, barking through a pointed teeth, divorce papers in your back pocket, pointing your finger to the door, shaking my shoulders to get out of the house every once in a while.
You tell me to vote for Hillary, the lesser of two evils. But, since you’ve been cheating for years (I’ve read your emails and texts, so don’t bother denying it), I don’t believe you any more.
Last night, I stayed up reading my journals from before I met you— wine in one hand, orange bottle of pills in the other. I squinted at my scribbles, rediscovering forgotten secrets. This line, this line says everything I feel:
The government lies. The bank steals. The rich laugh.
I read and reread those lines, studying the intuition that you beat out of me. And this afternoon, as I’m writing this, you’re banging on the locked bedroom door, bam bam bam, bam bam bam, bullying me with the question Did you vote? Did you vote?
And no. I’m not voting. I’m not kissing your lipless lies about what’s best for me or this relationship. Some say I have a duty. But I see the fear in the whites of their eyes, and I wonder if you’ve done the same to them.
I’m breaking up with you, America. I’m leaving this gaudy red, white, and blue wallpapered condo. I hope the others you’ve infested do the same.
I’m going to make like still-illegal-recreational-tree and leave. I’m going to gather what is good and natural and herbal, cradle the buds in the palm of my hand, roll them tightly in the thin paper of your white lies, crimp the end between my pink lips, flick a Bic lighter, inhale, and enjoy the Bern of what you never thought I was capable of.
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