An Open Letter to the Other Girl by Maya Horton

I’m sorry I called you a crazy bitch

over and over. I’m sorry that I knew that something was wrong

but didn’t trust my instincts. I’m sorry

for my shrieking rage, the way I blamed you for the way

he chose to fetishize you, and abandon me.


I’m sorry for discrediting your intelligence,

dismissing you as spring-bunny fluff. Denying your maturity,

without noticing the immature one was me.


I’m sorry for the way the lights of your stage

highlighted scenes of my insecurity. I’m not sorry he loved you, not at all,

but I’m sorry he harmed you.


I’m incredibly sorry I couldn’t protect you.


I’m sorry that my pretentions of competence —

and all the bluster of my claimed elevations –

gave me no useful way of sheltering you. I’m sorry his desire

left so many wounds. You deserved

a much softer love. I can see why he liked you;


loved you, even. I understand why he placed you above me.


But he also chose unhealthy, disturbing obsession.

You chose to be yourself. I actually wish he’d loved you more;

wish he’d showered you with tenderness and humanity.


Your honesty soothes me. You put me to shame –

healing me where I couldn’t heal you. There’s much I can learn

from your courage and grace.


Life is so mercurial and strange.

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