• Polly

This Is Going To Hurt

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

A short musing on a very specific kind of love… Inspired by Pablo Neruda:

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”


I shouldn’t enjoy the way you like to treat me. I shouldn’t crave the pain that you inflict upon me. I shouldn’t lust for the roughness with which you hold me.

But that darkness, that pain, frees my mind and spirit. You hurt me because you love me – and that is the kind of love I can understand. And accept.

Romance is wistful and fleeting – the meringue that collapses as soon as one crack is made. Sweet and lingering and all-encompassing – but only until it begins to rot through the teeth, sickly saccharine.

This kind of desire is much more grounded. It knows what it wants. It accepts the pain that affords it the pleasure. It is not a love that shouts from the rooftops. It doesn’t offer flowers, already half-way to wilting anyway. It doesn’t sugar-coat its answers.

This love is honest. Blunt. Coarse. This love is the pepper that catches in your throat. This love teases and torments, coaxes and denies.

There is affection, care, tenderness. But it must be earnt. It is not unconditional. It demands respect. It is not unwavering, nor does it care for expensive dinners or nights at the opera.

But there is trust, entangled in this desire. It weaves its way through the thorns, it reminds you with each blow that it is at least reliable. This love does not dismiss you. This love does not require exclusivity. This love is constant. It is the yellowish tinge on a bruise that is fading – but can still remind you of its presence.

Reliable pain – or unreliable pleasure. In a world of uncertainties, the unwavering foundation of this kind of love is a relief. It’s not going anywhere. And doesn’t romance hurt? Isn’t it agony when that love disappears, without a trace? Or worse, careens its way out the door, scattering the pieces of your heart in its wake.

Is it not more comforting to sustain a love that is unapologetic in its marks?

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