My Best Friend Asks Me Would I Rather Spend a Lifetime Alone or Date a Series of “The Bar is Set in Hell” Men by Chyann Hector

I tell her that all of the women I know

Have been scorned

Spend years cracking their hips

And their hearts open 

Just to be left with gaping holes

That ooze and bleed black

I know friends who have spiraled

Into deep madness

Trying to twist themselves into

Pretty portraits

One that might hold his gaze long enough

While the other woman passes by

I listen unenthusiastically

As she tells the same tale 

Of the wolf she let into her home again

Desperate to tame it before the new moon

Where the threat of her insides being 

Torn through her throat looms

I grow tired

Of watching beautiful women 

Be grated into dust

Whole dreams evaporated into

Hurricanes he refused to build her 

Protection from

And at the same time I have grown accustomed to

Being my own knight

Of shielding myself from honey-soaked daggers

And bullets coated in strawberry jam

So when my best friend asks this of me

She already knows the answer

I would rather be wrapped in love 

From my own familiar chest

If it meant that I’d never have 

To spill tears over a man not worthy to step on

I have walked this road this far

My feet, though battered know the path of solitude well

But it would be remiss to tell fables and fibs

To stand before you all stoic and independent 

Like I don’t imagine a touch lit by fire

Like I don’t imagine a tenderness that makes me feel airy

My body knows how to navigate the empty ripples of bed sheets

My mouth can knit itself closed for days

And I can live behind the pink doors of my mind for just as long

But sometimes 

I crave unraveling in the presence of someone

Who knows how to handle hands full of delicate silk

Sometimes I yearn to be so comfortable around someone

That the walls come crashing after a single knock

But I have yet to have met a man who is not a beast

Who won’t bite my neck as soon as he smells blood

Chyann Hector is a Black Jamaican-American writer, educator, and anti-racist/anti-bias human in progress. She has been writing ever since she could remember and wrote her first novel in a spiral notebook back in the 5th grade. In her work, Chyann prioritizes the voices of Black women who are immigrants and descendants of immigrants. When she isn’t teaching, reading, or writing, she enjoys traveling, baking, and spending time with loved ones.

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