A Poem About Abusive Relationships: Nostalgia is a Liar

by Reilyn Aileen
Indianapolis, Indiana 

Two years ago, I was in an abusive relationship and still find myself thinking about her. This is not telling you to pour hot coffee onto yourself or to self destruct because you can’t forget your ex. It’s more of a metaphor of the actual reminders I tell myself so I can miss them less. I write down a list of everything abusive they’ve done to me whenever I get upset. It always reminds me why I should be happy I never stayed. Coffee was used in the photos but it was cold!! Also don’t pour coffee on your hair because it’ll smell like coffee for so long!

finals week



Nostalgia Is A Liar
I came home for the weekend and realized I am still in love with you.
I don’t know why this came as a shock,
because this  happens every time I come home.
Especially in the autumn.
Nostalgia really hits,
and I find myself walking in the neighborhood you held my hand in,
going to the cemetery you kissed me in
and driving by your neighborhood on the way to get coffee.

I guess I feel pathetic more than anything-
repeating to myself
“it doesn’t feel like two years ago. i can still feel your breath on my neck.”

I don’t tell my mother-
but that doesn’t hide the fact I was crying in my bedroom.
When the weekend is over, I find myself slugging to my dorm room, without a thought of you in my mind.

Autumn is almost over.
I wont be home for another three weeks.
I repeat this to myself as I walk to get a cup of coffee.
Pour over.
Dark roast.
Anything to make me feel warm and fuzzy.
Something bitter.

My soul was pastel purple when I met you,
the perfect combination of blues and reds.
Now it is a dark navy blue,
I smoke a cigarette on the way back,
I wonder which one would be easier to give up.

As I open the door to my room nothing feels familiar,
My bed has held people who are not you-
they were supposed to make forgetting easier.
They didn’t.

I turn on my bathtub
and stick my feet in long enough to burn my skin.
Your favorite song plays on repeat inside of my head,
I look at the coffee sitting next to me-

and wonder-
I take off the lid and pour it onto my head,
it slowly flowing off the edges of my face,
filling my nostrils until it’s all the room smells like-

I don’t feel anything,

no warmth-

no fuzziness-

you were all those things-

you – burned my skin when you touched me.

I remember all the times i said no,
but the coffee surged onto my scalp anyway.

You fill the room,

this is how i remember not to miss you.

Sorjo Magazine


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