What would you have of me?
Something not-love, but tantamount?
You feel so entitled to all of me,
asking for more than my heart’s-amount?
Time makes expectations groan,
and entitlement tends to lurk,
when love gets called the friendzone,
and friendship turns into work.
I was your punching bag when things were tough,
your pillow when you were shattered.
What I gave was never good enough.
What I wanted never mattered.
The more I grew to health and life,
The more I became useless to your desires.
Not content to be a cruel heart’s wife,
nor lover to bitter fires.
I’m sorry my love’s not good enough
but it never was before.
But you don’t pay me nearly well enough,
to consider me your whore.
Charl Landsberg is a South African poet, writer, artist, musician, and sometimes academic. Their work often focuses on feminism, anti-racist work, LGBTQIA+ issues, and sometimes love, loss, and the silly things in between. They are a transgender nonbinary person who also has a short film coming out soon. Keep an eye out.