“Unconditional love!” Bam! Right in my eye!
That’ll teach me. Next time I won’t forget
how I’m supposed to love you like you are,
not set boundaries or expect you to change
or request anything you’ll see as a demand.
You’re the only one who can do that, I guess
—you’re the one who gets to demand of me
this standard you call “unconditional love.”
“Unconditional love!!” Whap! Your open hand
gives it to me good and hard. I try to love, yet
never love quite good enough for you. Strange,
my mistakes aren’t unconditionally loved. See,
what you call unconditional love is nothing less
than a bad excuse for your abuse. Every scar
I wear bears witness to your love’s foulest lie
written in my own blood: “Unconditional love.”
“Unconditional love!!!” Crack! I look a mess
with my jaw all busted up. How big a threat
am I to your self-respect, anyway? Must be
hard for you to find the love in my goodbye,
I suppose, but you won’t have to search far
to find some new lover’s face to rearrange
to be all you want. Will you ever understand
why I must go? Call it my unconditional love.