On why I hated you calling me “Darling”

by remembertoexhale

When I was a child I used to shout for my mother
“Mom, mom, mom!”
and she would say:
“that’s my name, don’t wear it out”

I knew you five minutes before the word
slid out your mouth so easily
and I am sure, on the many women before me
(and probably during me)
Darling had the same smooth sensation of
a shot of amarula
sweet and heady and deliciously quick

I knew then that you were full of
Darlings and Honeys and Babes
and used them over and over
like weapons to quicken love’s bottom line
it felt like a slimy lie

that’s why I called it patronizing
because you were only offering a cheap imitation
of the real thing
even though my hand felt expensive in yours

and I can’t lie and say that
I never wanted you to call me Darling
but I wanted you to mean it
and obviously you were just okay
with cheap imitations

my hand is the most expensive
you will ever hold
and those words are not synonyms for my name
stop wearing them out
before you’ve earned them