The Fear, Our Relationship

Content Warning

The Fear

I had a good time,
when you came
with your partner to the party, I think.
I wasn’t frightened.
Either that, or I had grown accustomed to it.
When I spoke, I spoke louder
to drown out the fear
that always lives here when I’m with you.
I’d tell her to leave,
but she won’t vacate the premises.
She’s taken up residence
like a fungal infection
that only leaves when the host body dies.

Our Relationship

I’m analysing subtle cruelties
and holding onto them.
I do not forgive,
I do not forget.
I let each of one your attacks
build another layer to my barriers.

When I’m with you I feel
I’m standing on shifting ground,
because you’re not grounded.
I feel the floor shift,
as you become a shape shifter,
without a certain shape.
I never know what form you
will choose to take.
And if I speak, will it turn
out to be a mistake?
You’re happy for me,
then sad for me,
because you’re sad for yourself.
I’m happy for myself.
It makes you so much sadder
for yourself.
Your sadness goes
back and back and back
to the time when no one
would back you up.
Sometimes you’re lost,
and when you see that I’m not,
you’ll do anything you can
to make me feel lost.

I step back, your temperature varies
and I’m not in charge of the dial.
When the burns happen
there’s no protective layer of clothing
to cover my skin.

Normality surrounds your hurt under.
Before it escapes, all has
the appearance of calm.
Until your damage escapes like hot lava,
it stays where it spills.
You brand me.
The wounds you leave
penetrate much deeper than
the epidermis.
My scar does not heal, the hair
I had before no longer grows.


Angela Hammond is a freelance writer from London. She loves writing every day and specializes in poetry. She has had several individual poems published by United Press and two collections published by them. In March this year, her poem “Watermark” was published by FIVE Poetry magazine. Find more of her work On the Verge here.

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