Background info: This is a poem I wrote after finally breaking off what turned out to be a really toxic friendship. The "friend" in question was more interested in being the perpetual victim and center of attention than being a good friend to me and the countless others she's hurt. Anyway, this is kind of a melodramatic version of our "last stand", and one of my best friends (who also had a messy blowout with the same girl) even read this poem at my school's Poetry Day.

"For Ashley"

The battle lines are drawn

And the sides are taken

Your neon plastic sword emerges

From its worn sheath

I let my arms fall

To the ground and I hear

Them clatter in the wake of

This thick deadly silence

My arms are outstretched and

My palms are to the sun-streaked

White non-storm clouds

I wonder why there's so much peace now

And why the sky isn't blue/black and swirling

No lightning strikes, no thunder rolls,

No theatric crescendos

In this shining moment of introspection,

My fresh wounds become cleverly concealed

That is my blood on the ground

And yet you play dead

You strike at me with such fierce tenacity

And the blood pours from my veins, but now it fades,

Evaporating into nothingness

You can't touch me here

So you fall to the ground and crumble

You cry and puncture yourself,

All the while howling to me:

"Traitor! Backstabber! Thief!

Oh, how you wound me!

Oh, how I bleed for you!

Do you not see how I bear your sing?

Yet you strike me again, and again!"

Then I stare at my bare hands

And I see your black blood as it

Pools into cheap mascara streaks

That network and channel all

Across the universe,

Ashen

And I use my voice, so clear and strange and placid,

"How can you bear my sins

If you do not know what they are?

How can you be my victim

If I have not attacked?

How can we care for each other if

You refuse to recognize me, and

I can no longer recognize you?"

Then you snarled and growled

And faded into a puddle of red

Your memory is drained into oblivion

As your life winds down the tubes and

You swim away from here

I am alone, but the day is company enough

The air around me feels so warm

And the atmosphere so clear and clean

I do not even have regret to spare for you

For you were the suffocating chill

Clenched around my heart and lungs

I can breathe new life into my soul again

And I can smile without judgment