“Behind a door you can’t open, he drinks to keep loving you.”

The line “being behind a door you can’t open,” is so wild to me. The desire to want something so bad and then have it denied from you by the person you want it from is such a sick feeling. As a newly come out queer person, it’s so sad to see that being part of something like the LGBTQ community can come with such strong feelings of love and hate. Hate for each other, oneself, and others. Homophobia can cause people to turn into monsters. But in this quote, Jones isn’t gay. He isn’t “a boy who likes boys” or a queer. In this quote, Jones is a human being wanting to be loved by someone who can’t love him. This poem stuck out to me because it isn’t about being gay or showing the rainbows in our community. It’s about a broken person begging themselves to get up and leave.

One thought on ““Behind a door you can’t open, he drinks to keep loving you.””

  1. This line in Cruel Body reminded me of one of the other poems in Prelude to Bruise, Apologia. Jones says “He made me– not like He created me […] He made me lick the taste of bullet from the barrel of his revolver” (49). Relating to your idea of Cruel Body illustrating a broken person begging themselves to get up and leave (beautifully said btw), these lines from Apologia reflect the notion that someone can have such a profound impact on who you are but then later realizing this impact was actually really bad/dangerous. This resonated with me based on a personal queer experience, where I felt myself changing so much for someone I thought loved me so profoundly, but slowly had to realize that they loved me for what they could do with the love I was giving. Even though I eventually recognized I was being manipulated, it was really difficult to fathom that the love they were giving/the love I had adapted myself to want/need/crave was actually really hurting me. I think in human nature but especially in queer relationships, we struggle to justify mistreatment because we feel like the good parts of our relationships are so formative of who we are that we can’t discard them, even at the expense of continuing to suffer.

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