Proof • Lily Duquaine

lay with a gun at the side of your bed

wait with intent

to kill what is yours

you crave

excuses to destroy

the home that we have built

my mind is in another place

where i cannot be touched


i am terrified

but how do i leave

proof of ownership is warmth trickling down my neck from the first time you touched me. life force flowed from a wound not as romantic as a vampire bite, but instead a matted mess by the time the nurse asked what happened and i said that the concussion made me forget.

proof of ownership is bruised knuckles to match the storms in your eyes when you get like this. a piece of art unique to your interests. something to be proud of every time you make a fist. you would say that you punched a wall, because testosterone causes feats of strength and anger and you have always been the man of the hour.

proof of ownership is trash bags of porcelain shards. plates thrown at bodies in fits of rage and i realize that my legs are as quick as my tongue. a punishment for a childlike deed and an apology sitting on my knees and you left me alone to clean up the mess that you made.

proof of ownership is being locked in the closet by childhood monsters, because we find men like our fathers, and sober was never a vocabulary word. my mother would say to run before it’s too late, but he is an expensive wine at a family buffet and oh do i crave bitter things. addiction to harm runs in my blood and what is better than a painful love?

proof of ownership is the deed to a house and a new pillow not soaked with tears. it is a future built from the past and feeling control in being alone. it is the fear of regret. it is the pride of independency. it is escaping a cage to be lost in a deadly jungle. and i still wonder if i belong behind those iron bars… if it is safer in captivity. i am owned by myself, but sometimes the proof is just not enough.