i have not, in quite some time,
want to drag a blade across my skin
as much as tonight.
It is the third day of being twenty-seven,
and I thought by now this ache
would have been dulled, faded, gone even.
I hate this quiet.
I hate the way I need someone to fill this space,
that sits so empty beside me.
Mostly, mostly I’m exhausted,
so tired of holding myself together.
Juggling pieces so they don’t shatter,
overstretching, bending at odd angles,
just so I can show the world how strong I am.
Illusions only last so long,
just band-aids on a gaping wound.
i think about the throwback Thursdays
that will come, inevitably
how my heart will break again
the first time i see you
with a face that’s not mine,
arms wrapped around somebody,
who’s not me,
somebody you could love a little more
want more, need more.
they see my trash piled up,
spilling its insides to the floor;
my endless stacks of paper,
teetering, toppling, towering;
they look at me and say
“you must not care –
the weight of their words
crush me into the wall
i’ve built for myself.
their disgust buries me,
like the floor,
and i make some excuse,
something about time
and other things,
my brain is screaming,
i’m so overwhelmed.
and i’ll clear a space
to hold myself
and rock and rock and rock
until the next person
comes to say,
“you must not care –
I let myself miss you tonight;
for a fleeting moment I remembered
the you that you were
when I loved you the most,
not this being that you became;
I catch glimpses of you,
sometimes while I’m out.
I can see you in the bookstore,
on the couch, on a side street;
it’s just a memory,
you aren’t really there;
just a vague nostalgia
that leaves me with the taste of history.
I hope you are well,
be well, stay well,
wherever you are,
in whatever you do.
I hope that once in a while,
you might think of me too,
just for a fleeting moment,
I hope you miss me,
just like I miss you.
Tonight, I walked the streets of a town;
dusk had settled an hour ago,
streetlights lit a cracked sidewalk.
It was a lesson in being present;
to simply be wherever I was in that moment.
The drive-in diner smelled like summer grease.
My feet took me past the freshly churned earth
of a construction site. Smells of dirt and mulch;
the way the world would smell if it were untouched.
I stood in front of the church and found,
as I always have in the dark in front of a cross,
a peace that cannot be found any other place.
For a moment, I wonder if maybe Jesus is real after all.
I moved on; place to place, moment to moment.
I felt the sidewalk under my sneakers;
broken, uneven, hardened; bearer of memories.
So many stories have come across this place;
Flowers, purple. A tree that smells of pine.
The dut,dut,dut of fingers across a table.
A metal sign, dewy to the touch, shining silver.
Cars going forward and left and right and stopping,
softly speaking to the world; gasoline and diesel smoke.
The end of one moment is the beginning of another,
softly forming; circular.
For a short time, I was wholly present,
as I walked the streets of a small town.
there are people who say that
you will forget words and actions,
but never the feelings.
those people are right.
i can barely remember your face,
or your touch or your laugh.
i can’t remember the depths of your eyes,
or the way you smiled.
i can’t remember the shape of you,
or the feel of you against me.
i can’t recall the moment that i decided
that i. wanted. you.
the first time i saw you?
the first time i kissed you?
the first time you touched me?
no, i can’t remember much about you at all,
except that for a moment in time,
i was alive.
i was trapped in your fire,
burning and smoldering,
i was more alive than i had ever been.
you didn’t think i liked you,
but you just didn’t see
how I was remembering in case
you were nothing but a memory.