It was easier to blame myself when we fell apart. To take responsibility for everything I did and more, to shield you from reproach with my own broken body, to bear both our sins so you could remain unstained in my memory. I washed the blood from your hands with my own tears, and I cried every night for you so you would never have to live with dirty fingers. I told myself this suffering was penance for the crime of loving you when you did not love me.
I convinced myself that I had broken my own heart. That you somehow didn’t notice the ten thousand times I looked at you with mesmerized eyes, that you didn’t know how my heart beat your name in Morse code every time I saw you in the distance, that you had no idea that I would’ve walked day and night through a sweltering desert to bring you water if you told me you were thirsty. Like you simply didn’t understand what was happening when your comrades dragged me to the whipping post, like your indifference wasn’t as cruel as their bloodthirst, like your half-apologetic smile could absolve you of all responsibility as you watched their lashes burn my skin.
Now I see my only crime was being a fool – a fool for worshipping you like some holy thing, for surrendering my dignity so easily, for swearing fealty to the queen of a corrupted land. And I fear I will remain a fool as long as your name exists in the corners of my mind. If you offered to make me your jester, I would make a fool of myself forever just to draw one smile from your wicked lips.
As a child, I was terrified of losing my mind, but the thought scares me no longer. It’s easier to lose my mind than to hold onto it, because I would rather spend a hundred years blindly worshipping a false idol than think critically and question my faith. So I wait on your threshold in my best cockscomb, praying for you to let me be your fool again.