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A toxic relationship.

By Silver Serpent BooksPublished 2 months ago 1 min read
Top Story - February 2024
Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

Hello, excuse me...

The crackling voice on the phone held the same

Bitter, affluent tone that always preceded the


A tip of the hand already.


Are you well?

No, never.

Nothing even close to well, to all right, to acceptable.

I am the withering plant you swore to water

Two months back, choking on dry dirt and sunlight.


I hope you are.

It has the same rubbery feel as his lies.

Tastes the same, chalky and untrue, in my mouth

As I repeat it back to an empty house.

A stadium with no audience.



It isn't a plea, not really, but a command.

The words wrap themselves around my throat

And demand that I hear past the letters

To the threat of violence looming large.


I need...

Money? Booze? Never something so simple.

What he wants is never something easy to obtain.

It's the old transaction of the heart.

He rambles out abusive words, I listen, and the world grows still.


I love you.

A rubber band snapping back to its form.

The lie is as ugly as the rest and as familiar too.

I mimic the response, spit out a few sympathetic apologies,

And the transaction is complete.


The call ends. The email signs off. The text remains unanswered.

I have fulfilled my end of the bargain.

He has given me a basket full of pain and I have fed him

His transactional sympathy.

performance poetryMental Healthlove poemsFree Verse

About the Creator

Silver Serpent Books

Writer. Interested in all the rocks people have forgotten to turn over. There are whole worlds under there, you know. Dark ones too, even better.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  4. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  5. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

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Comments (23)

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  • Bonnie Bowerman2 months ago

    So powerful - in how it rings true to life sometimes! Brillant!

  • Kristen Balyeat2 months ago

    Oh my. I just sat in silence for a few minutes after reading this. I felt every word in every fiber of my being. Painful. Brilliant. Profound.

  • John K2 months ago

    Totally deserving of top story!

  • Patrick H2 months ago

    That last verse and "I love you. A rubber band snapping back to its form. The lie is as ugly as the rest" - powerful stuff. Congrats on the Top Story. You were bound to nab one with the sheer weight of quality pieces you've been smashing out lately. Well deserved.

  • Tracy Kreuzburg 2 months ago

    Very representative of abusive or unfulfilled relationships, the word 'transactional'. Interestingly, it applies to non-'romantic' relationships as well. You do what is expected, while your heart cries out 'no!' This is very well done and the metaphors are perfect. Wonderful work!

  • sudip tarafder2 months ago

    Congrats! I enjoyed it!’

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    Ouch. This is fantastic, but ouch!

  • Alyssa Nicole2 months ago

    This is such a beautiful and relatable poem. I love the withering plant description. Congrats on the Top Story!

  • Oh wow, so incredibly descriptive and relatable. Congratulations on your top story

  • Raduxx Radu2 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story 💓😘💖❤👍

  • Margaret Brennan2 months ago

    congratulations on TS. This was truly excellent.

  • Dorota2 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Gargie S Anand2 months ago

    "I love you. A rubber band snapping back to its form. The lie is as ugly as the rest and as familiar too." I now call this emotional blackmail. This is a very sad reality. You have done an amazing job composing this.

  • Matthew Mccahey2 months ago

    I know that feeling all too well, I stopped giving them any part of me. Can't deal with people like that

  • J2 months ago

    How do you know my dad?

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Beautiful written. Congrats on the TS.

  • Hayley Matto2 months ago

    Congrats on TS! This was powerful & so well written. I loved so much of this one, fav being the metaphor of being a dried out house plant.

  • Dariusz 2 months ago

    Congratulations on top story :)

  • Melissa Ingoldsby2 months ago

    That last line was very powerful and too real. Excellent piece

  • sleepy drafts2 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!! 💓💓

  • sleepy drafts2 months ago

    I have to agree with Kendall, this one will be with me for a while. Hauntingly and beautifully done. 💗

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    This is going to stick with me...

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