I Hate You Because I Love You

I Hate You Because I Love You

By Elizabeth Harper

Living with you is constant emotional pain.
I can't tell if you're passive-aggressive or stupid or both.

I hate coming home and finding
surprise spills and splatters and
messes I have to clean up.  
Are you blind? Do I need to put you
on my vision insurance? Did you grow up
in a home without coasters? Or paper towels?
I feel out of control, unstable, unsafe.
It's because I can't control you.
And you're independent from me.
Why can't you just do what I want?
Be always available when I want backrubs and orgasms,
and then magically disappear when I've got stuff to do?

You have my rapt attention
when you want to babble on for hours.
I love that you take out all
my Led Zeppelin records,
but then you play them so loud
my bitchy next door neighbor
pounds on the door.

I love that you make me
martinis and manhattans
and salads and collard greens,
and you taught me how to make
canned beans taste good,
but then we're constantly
running out of booze and food.
It's fucking with my sense
of security and stability.

I love that you know
who Williams Carlos Williams
and Adrienne Rich are.
But you don't know who Wittgenstein is,
or that Emma Goldman was an anarchist.
What the fuck is up with that?

I've lived here for 20 years
and you've made friends
with my neighbors,
and I never have. I think
they know that I hate their dogs,
as well as everybody in the world
I can't torture and have sex with.

You're so nice to me. You make me love you.
I hate being in love. I hate hate hate hate hate hate it.

You're pretty, free, confident
the world will take care of you.
I never feel that safe, that free.  
Are you the psychopath? Am I?
Are we both psychopaths and
that's why we're bonded?

I will never feel safe.

It's because you're separate from me,
and I want you close to me, close
enough to me to know me, to love me,
and then I want you to go and let me be free.

I hate that you have other friends
you talk to on the phone for hours.
But then I'm glad that you have reasons
to leave home so I don't have to deal with you.

I hate you because I love you.

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