The Poetry Project

Two Poems

Venn Daniel

promise me

promise me
this day

is something
promise me

the way i look
in here is different

from the way i do
out there

that you can be
a part of me

that no one sees
promise me

the ways you made me
are frames i have the power

to alter or adjust
promise me

you’ll pay me back
for years of labor

& all the shit
your men did to me

for not being man
and promise me a roof

november through

talk about
the weather with me

or be okay
with long migrations

promise me
i want all of it

in lonesome pain hysteria
give me

joy in absence
leave me on my path

tell me holding on
to you can only be

a letting go
and promise me

i won’t ever be
like you won’t

hide away in vain
morose neglecting

promise me
i can undo

your grip
without you

i want you to say it

promise me
that crushing

won’t feel as bad
as it does now

that moving slow
is fine that you

will be here
for a while

promise me
in the mess of it

that all my things
won’t disappear

just because
i can’t pay rent

promise me

won’t always be
how i get food

promise me
one day

and that there’ll
be one where

i don’t need you

and promise me
god damnit

that i won’t die
because i have to wait

for help because some group
of mother fuckers thought

it was a good idea
to make us pay

for all the shit we need
to keep our bodies

from failing us
promise me

promise me

ten thousand times
i want your word

& then i want
your head

promise me

promise me

promise me

as the only way
understand my anger

as me admitting love for you
won’t ever go away

promise me
you’ll reconcile

knowing for five years
i put men inside

my mouth
submitted to them

i let myself be taken
like a corpse

let myself be used
and used them

using me
to understand

and locate
where you were

in me i had
to be a cum dump

to learn how
fear exists in love

is fear your actions
my whole life

taught me to avoid
i want you to promise me

my accidents
and mistakes are mine

not yours
promise me

the architectures
of abandonment

and self hate
were ones

that you absorbed
then say you’re sorry

for not knowing
& i will too i want you to

promise me

Issue 14