“I love you, ” you lied, siphoning her soul.
And you did love—as the owl loves the mouse.
As the actor loves the camera, the prop, the stage, and scene.
She was all of these—used, displayed, and preyed upon.
Reenacting your emptiness again and again,
Masking vast cowardice with delusions and justifications,
Pulling her light into your muttering darkness,
You stole bright threads of soul fabric to weave your lies.
Spent, wasted, empty, she learned young what love is.
It is them taking, and her allowing them to take.
So she loved others obediently, seeking out the hungry,
Offering sustenance, and taking her own place at the feast—
On the table.