Poetry from Gabriel Flores Benard

You learn to feel love in hate.

Their blades may pierce you,

twist and mangle themselves

into pretty words,

hollow promises,

but bloodstains still peek through clothes

and claw up your throat.

They watch you swallow,

pretend the rings and slashes

on your skin are illusions,

and they leave you frigid, numb,

laughing at yourself

soaked in red and pink.

You copy empty smiles

and plaster them on your face,

a splintered mirror

forcing shards together

into cracking smiles.

You learn to find love in hate,

as a broken toy,

longing for playmates

to give you value.