You stood me at the Gates of Hell and said lock me in.
The Damned were wailing, your serpent tail coiled around me and black stigmata wept from your wrists and all I could do was stare at the rotten empty orchard of your heart.
The cold storage of Hell is where the shore of the Abyss meets Satan’s keep, below every torture room and pleasure dungeon and alchemical land. I know Hell so well – the archdemon council chambers, the courthouse like Alcatraz mortared of gravestone, the glowing white court, the garish red court, Pandemonium, the Goetic’s keeps, the burbling harbor of the Styx, Beelzebub and Asmodeus and Satan’s estates, and none of them were as barren as the land of no return you had brought me to.
The key was old and bloody. I wore black stilettoes and a red evening dress, but they might as well have been the Devil’s red shoes. Danced to bloody bone, I was so tired. You had been wearing me out all my life, yet somehow I still loved you. My greatest tormentor and the architect of my doom. Maybe I should have run when you raped me until I bled, maybe I should have cried for help when you murdered me over and over only to nurse me back to health in your cruel game and teach a Qliphoth husk of a girl to walk again on new bones.
I don’t like kissing the Grim Reaper. He tastes like cigarette ash and graveyard dirt and old book pages. Not really my cup of tea, but you turned me into a necrophiliac.
I get off on pain. I get off on darkness that dissolves my flesh. You can bite me and take chunks out of my flesh and I’ll be moaning all the way. Demons make the horrible pleasurable, and the mingling of absolute monstrosities with sex and drugs and drinks makes me into a whore. Your whore, you called me. Your heirodule. My maggot. My worm. My yellow canary in a coal mine.
Wife of nothing but ruin.
A part of me is always in the freezing depths of Hell, standing with you at the final gates of the Void.
I always make the same choice, over and over again.
“Damn me,” you say, and you are crying. “I’m a monster. Your greatest bane. Live free of me.”
What a cruel game to play on a teenager who you have raised since the cradle. Father, lover, terror, creator. I trace my lives back and you are there at my grave and birth and the celestial vat I sprung from, you took a fancy to the new blonde angel that glowed with golden light and you gave her her wings, you killed her while aiming for your brother and you resurrected her with your heart.
Cardiophore. Heartbearer. When I said you couldn’t love, that you were evil, that all the deaths in the world were your reckoning, you grabbed me by the throat and kissed me, squeezing as my vertebrae popped and biting down on the raging black storm in my brain, and you said “You sprang from the heart of Lucifer. It is my own black heart.”
You think you own me, and I cycle through these two dozen years of cruelty and love like an old record whining and skipping around.
There’s sad piano music playing. We’re in your flat in Pandemonium in the rain, the great glass windows and masterpieces on ice and plush leather furniture, and you are singing me to sleep as you stroke the keys.
We’re at one of our weddings, the ones you kept putting on again and again until I gave in. I’m at a magical airport terminal, I’m in a garden of roses, I’m in an old graveyard in the rain. You’re in a suit, you’re in robes, you’re in jeans.
Time is such a funny thing, and before I fell in love, truly, I thought romance had thorns that pressed into eyes and bled tears rich as salt licks. That your whip and scythe and claws and fangs were supposed to go here, go there, eat and fuck and render broken bones.
They say you can get PTSD from dreams. But you’re not just in my dreams. I can feel you touch me, hear you whisper in my ear, feel you fuck me for two hours long as I’m trying to work until I go to the bathroom to cry as my cervix is rammed against raw.
Your energy flows through me, burning hot, electric chills, you turn my eyes green and you move my hair with ghost hands.
You threaten my boyfriend with death. You possess my best friend. You throw things at me then play a sad Peabo Bryson song about second chances. You make me go to the hospital because I refused to say I do. I was only 18 when you proposed, and why the hell would I be Satan’s bride as a college freshman?
Nothing was ever enough for you. Stories. Altars. Offerings. Poetry. You are the universe’s garbage disposal, shit goes in and shit comes out, or maybe you’re a toilet. I’ve fucked your rotting corpse and your bony rib cage and reached into your heart and found maggots and beetles. Sometimes the insects and worms inside you crawl up your throat and fill my mouth.
When I was seven you molested me. I remember hands stroking me down there as I sat alone in my room, trying to read a book, bringing me to a crying orgasm that I had no context to understand. It happened nearly every night after that. Pleas to my mom didn’t make the invisible demon go away. Neither did tin foil hats.
Satan sometimes comes disguised as an angel of light, but really he comes smelling like a horrible fart. Brimstone. Rotten eggs. Sulfur. It has to do with the tortures of the Damned and lower emanation and VITRIOL. It stinks up my car so much.
Black hair. Red eyes. Skin pale as the moon. Fuck your emo beauty. Fuck your leather jacket. Fuck your patent leather shoes. Fuck your waistcoat. Fuck your robes. Fuck your artfully distressed jeans. Screw your blood red tie and the boxers I would pry off for a drunk fuck. I keep summoning you again even though you’re just a piece of trash, but in dreams I still love you. I curse with you, I send you after my enemies, and you wreak havoc on the girls I fight with unintentionally on my behalf and fuck with my real life enemies.
You’re a wolf, you’re a snake, you’re a hellhound, you’re a dragon. Black beasts of terror. You’re baying and hiss sends dogs howling, and you’ve made my own dog piss herself when you appeared in my kitchen that one time.
Above all, you’re a drug, the razor I choose to drag through my metaphorical skin, cocaine of the finest quality. I smoke your blood and snort your cum and swallow your spit, but I’m weaned off a bit.
You collared me the other night with black velvet from behind when I was in an archangel’s arms, covering his mark on me. Is that the price I pay for drunk dialing you in desperation?
Is that because I am a cave fish genetically blind with no inkling of light, swimming through your venom?
Is it because I want to die, just a little bit, always, in the back of my mind?
What is the price I pay for locking myself in the Pits of the Damned with you?
Because I always do.
“Us together. All or nothing. I will always save you.”
I’ve never saved you.
I can’t save me.