a scarlet letter of my own

you tell yourself:
let go of the fact
that you were the other woman
once upon a time.
you crawled out of that bed,
on your hands and knees,
floating down a river of their tears,
struggling against the current of their rage
and you made your way
to this place
without drowning.
this place where you are his one,
where you are free.
and you feel victorious,
until you realize
that the guilt was your penance,
your cross to bear
and without it
you feel exposed,
and so you pick up the enormity of your guilt again,
your very own scarlet letter,
and you wear it on your chest
where it belongs
forever branded,
like their pain,
in your heart.


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