That Night

You say that I’m pretty,
But I learned long ago not to accept your drunk compliments.

Photo by Arun Thomas from Pexels

I found a poem that I wrote on a piece of scrap paper several years ago, and I wanted to share it with all of you!

I wrote this poem as a way to process the emotions that I was dealing with when the guy who had broken up with me two months prior called me on video chat in the middle of the night. Dealing with an inability to say “no,” my genuine fear about his safety, and the complicated nature of our exes-but-best-friends relationship, I probably didn’t handle this night as well as I could have. Looking back on this experience, I have several notes for myself. For one, I didn’t owe him my time if he was genuinely making me feel uncomfortable. For two, he probably wasn’t in as much danger as I thought he was.

Since writing these verses, I like to hope that I’ve improved my poetic abilities. If I have, it’s all thanks to time, reading more poetry, and additional experience with writing. If I haven’t then, well, I guess I was just doomed to backslide. Either way, I left the poem mostly unedited because it came from such a raw place, and I didn’t want to lose that by fussing with it. So, without further ado, here’s the poem:

That Night

My heart beats faintly
Threatening to end this life,
To finish the work that you began.
It’s too slow, and I am stuck once again
With all my wordless forevers unable to break free.

You’re drunk, and I’m the person you call.
You list your plans for the next year.
You rip my heart out with that litany
Because I know when you say you want to do these things
You don’t mean that you want to do them with me.

You say that I’m pretty,
But I learned long ago not to accept your drunk compliments.

I mutter out a halfhearted thank you in return.

I keep you with me because you drank way too much,
And I’m afraid that something might happen to you
If I dare to hang up.

It takes hours, but you finally sober up enough
That I am no longer worried about your life.
I finally ask you the question
That has been gnawing at me all night:
“Why am I your go-to drunk conversation person?”

“Because,” you answer,
“you are my person.”


7 thoughts on “That Night”

    1. 💜 Thank you for your kind words. I wrote a draft of this poem immediately after the experience. I decided to leave it mostly unedited when I posted it because I liked how raw it seemed. If I were to rewrite it today (like 6 years after it happened), it wouldn’t be nearly as dramatic.

      Liked by 1 person

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