"Freelance" by Chelsea Sieg

every partner i've ever had

has gotten a small pile of poems out of me,

because of course they did.

most of them horrifically romantic,

because of course they were.


and every partner i've ever had

has given me this look,

this particular smile,

when they tell me that they're

“not that into” poetry

and none of them seemed to notice

how the printed pages wilted in my hands,

how a bit more of the light

withered away in my eyes each time,

how eventually i stopped showing them

poems, or feelings,

or other undesirable things

just to make sure that i was still

the “cool” partner,

that things were still “okay” with us,

that i wasn't going to end up

the subject of an anonymous reddit post

later in the week


and so years later,

when my mom kinda sorta hints

that someday i might want to get married

or “find true love”

or something,

i kind of want to tell her

that no man or woman ever taught me

that i have a right to feel things

and a right to bleed words

and a right to buy fifteen cute notebooks

and scribble dark and tortured poetry in them

and i kind of want to tell her

that i don't ever want to give that up

for anyone ever again


but i just shrug

and try to remember

to write it down later