We Weren’t Built for “I Told You So”

A Prose Poem

I flinch every time I hear the word “honey” used as a term of endearment. You clung to it — it was one of your favorites. “Honey, this” and “Honey, that.” I damn near vomited from the overwhelming sweetness of its usage. We wandered separately for what felt like eons — casually loving others, then solemnly returning to what we’d built . . . what we’d taken a chance on designing. I was never too attached to the bigger things in life. Many have said we would fail — too different, they uttered. But we held on to the missage offered to one another that “opposites attract.”

I want my ring back . . . Selfish, yes? Of course, you’d think this. I’ve spent many nights watching you flirt with anyone who would lend you an ear and a free drink and I am almost sad to say, I should have had my eyes open wide enough. I should have been open to seeing you for who you really were.

I should have known who I really was.

Isn’t that the way of these types of things? You find yourself standing on a ground firm enough to hold your weight, yet you don’t really know if you won’t fall straight through to another dimension just as easily as you landed in the current one.

I’m rambling, I know. You hate that.

But, hear me out . . . Given our current situation, this day was bound to happen. I knew the moment the calls stopped. I further knew the day I packed my last bag and you followed me to the door, touched my right hand gently, pursed your lips, then backed away. The love we shared left us feeling vacant. Months before, unbeknownst to us, we were evicted. Pink-slipped and hurried along to make room for two more women who would find themselves in the same situation five years from now.

I knew you loved him.
I ignored it.
I knew you loved me.
I held on to that.
One was not greater
than the other.
And I thought it was.
That was my mistake.


I settled into a loft — open layout, in a nicer neighborhood. The cat sadly meows in my direction daily — he misses you. You were his favorite even though he is mine. You come by weekly to be with him — to give him the attention he craves. To shower him with your scent. And it is hard for me to see you strutting around as fiercely as you do without being able to wrap you up in my arms and lean into your musk. I tame myself — a shrew, learning to do what is most important — to unlove you.

You tell me this man understands you — that he hears you when you speak. That you have everything you have ever wanted in a partner but he does not hold you. He lacks empathy. He is okay with having you away days on end — he doesn’t need you near him. I nod. I listen. I say that it’s still early and you have to grow together just as we did. I feign acceptance of your new relationship but I see it crumbling in the back of my mind.

You are a whole being.
You think you are half.
You don’t need anyone
to complete you.
But, you think you do.
This is what ended us.
This is why we’re here.

And we weren’t built for “I told you so” and I wouldn’t dare say it.

I tell myself the best part about us not being us anymore is learning who you are without me — it’s learning who I am without you.


Originally published in Intimately Intricate via Medium. Beautiful people, I wish you a happy holiday season for whatever it is you celebrate and that you’ll be safe, loved, connected, and secure. I am taking a short break and will be active again on Sunday, December 27, 2020. Peace and blessings.

Damned by the Dreams of a Lost Love

Prose Poem

Image for post
Photo Source: Pinterest

Love’s Recovery, 101.

You have moved on. You did so effortlessly and I am still steering a wretched ship that has no sense of direction without its captain. Throw out the life rafts. Man the exit points. I was bound to hit a few rocks along the way, but I am still out to sea.

Battered and unmanned.

I stare at my phone. I want to take a chance on sending you a text message but every alarm within me is set and red flags pop up whenever my fingers go searching through my contacts. Leave well enough alone.


Featured Writer for June

Melinda A. Smith burst onto the scene in A Cornered Gurl on May 15, 2020, with A Thousand Arrows which is doing quite well in the publication. Since then, she has been a woman who is sounding off superbly. Her second piece, Hands and Railroads and Rage is an audio poem with a gut-punch that won’t let up and hits the reader incredibly hard. Even with its power and its important subject matter of inequality and social injustice, it is Navy Blue–the rhythmic, lyrical flow of a prose-poem, that has landed her this feature. Her presence in ACG is a profound one and I am happy to have her there. And now, the featured piece.


Navy Blue

The color of burning is not red

Photo by Adrien Ledoux on Unsplash

Homebound your mind comes round to thoughts of me, you entertain. Like rain you let me wash your skin, you let me in, you read my words and sully them with thoughts of sin. Did you ever think that I’m trapped, too? Sure enough, in different ways than you, I suffer, go through days lined with navy blue.

Take your language full of lovely words that border on offensive, absurd, take them like the flowers that wilt beneath the early hours of clocks that give us nothing now but time. You seek out the sublime. Stuck in the life you chose. In me, you see poetry. In you, I see prose. And God himself only knows or is it your whore of a muse? The one you caress, turn around, and abuse. Nothing to live for, nothing to lose. Only those weeping eyelids and navy blues.

But you didn’t count on one small thing, the silence and the songs I sing, the fight I have learned how to bring, it adds up to more than your petty lust. Of phoenix ash and blood that’s dried to dust, of lava seeping forth from crust, of bile and acid awash with shoulds and musts, I’ve seen it all and swallowed them whole. I’ll win here, too, for I have tasted the likes of you, these stringy pieces of tendinous sinew, I’ll pick them from my teeth to chew and face you in a way you never knew. For nothing spurs me more than navy blue.

Mistake not this smile for acceptance or feelings returned. Your vile words may try to burn, I let them for awhile, but now I’ve learned and I’ll fence you off from this red heart. These phrases that cut are just the start. With paintbrush or machete, I’ll construct my art, in pigment or in blood, I’ll create or tear apart. If you’d like, I’ll break it down to the science behind it. If I move too fast, I can explain and rewind it. Buried in me, you’ll always find it — this protective layer of fight or flight.

It’s in us all, nature’s Darwinian call. Preserve the species, one and all, and my cells will follow this creed. They heed, they need, when called upon, they bleed. Trillions of them, as if they always knew. One by one, they’ll turn on you, too. With a tide of physiological anger like you never knew. And I’ll be here, never bothered by the paths you steer, instead turned away from you dreaming, always dreaming of navy blue.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.