I hate thinking that there’s an asshole support group.
I really do. I find myself skeptical
of being told to never apologize
and I find myself seething
thinking there are people
sitting cross-legged on the floor,
or lounging around a couch,
laid back on pillows, or hugging a pillow,
shown screenshots of all my texts,
telling you to never apologize.
I’m screaming at not being able
to change lanes in traffic, also gripping
the wheel and cursing the names
of those I see jealously,
those who still get to be your friend
when now I know it’s a shuffle of cards,
who gets to hear what story about who
it’s a mafia game, accusations abound;
a werewolf game, roles swap overnight.
I’m helpless sitting in the car
trying to calm down so I drive safely
mumbling in confusion that somehow
people will see insults and take compliments
from the same mouth;
people will somehow, over thoughtful deep talks,
even with pain from you themselves,
invoke “self-care,” “do what’s best for you,”
“put yourself first,” “who cares what they think.”
people will say, “she shouldn’t have done
that,” “she can’t guilt trip you,” “how
manipulative, to cry, to want a hug”
and you could tell stories, and now I’m in them, to others;
and you could write songs, or share media;
you could rush to these go-to people
just to hear them tell you not to change a thing.
you could write a poem just like this one
and your own audience would take your side
and that would be your right
and that would also just be the most
how many assholes
have I accidentally sided with?
well, I suppose, for one, you.
Ellen Huang is published/forthcoming in X-Ray Lit, Next Door Villain, VIBE, Prismatica, Wrongdoing Magazine, Resurrection Mag, and more. She reads for Whale Road Review and is currently working on a fairy tale chapbook and an ace horror anthology. You should see her semi-spiritual blog: worrydollsandfloatinglights.wordpress.com