The woman whose name I can't say, for anonymity is the golden rule.
But you may know a friend like mine.
Her ex had broken her heart,
but not before wearing her down, not unlike a pair of
Worn tennis shoes, so dingy that you wrinkle your nose while
Smelling the sweat inside.
Battered and full of moth holes, casting a queer shadow in the pale closet light-
They remind me of my ex, who was good for absolutely nothing.
When we were married, we had an unsuccessful coupling that left an
Acrid taste of cigarette ashes inside my cotton-dry mouth.
He is only a man but had used me.
Used is a euphemism for hurt, wounded, or molded.
I was taken for granted until I opened up my eyes to-
A wandering eye and wallet, someone who cheated.
I loved him and blindly forgave.
Once again, I recuse myself from his diseased thinking.
It doesn't matter that I never tasted a cigarette.
It doesn't matter how many times he tries
To tether and leash me.
For I want and need only myself,
And the battered sneakers have long been tossed into the trash.