There is nothing to see here. Only the ache, only the question of how much more to endure. There are no reminders today. Don’t look. I’m trying to pick myself up. I’m trying. I’m trying. What does it matter? Why does it matter? I don’t want to matter. This is chaos disguised as pleading for help. This is pointing fingers at the maker. You did not make it better. I’m still bleeding from the same old wounds I’ve had for one thousand three hundred days. They say you reward the pain, the suffering, the tears. I’d rather not have a medal, I’d rather just not have this.
You sit on your pedestal with your arms wide open while the rest breaks apart piece by piece. The people no longer know how to love. The children never stop crying. We ache for as long as we can remember. You’re still sitting on that pedestal. I’d rather just not have this.
Stop. There is nothing to see here but how much I’ve lost. It was never a fair fight. It was their words against mine. I am still a frightened child. Why did I have to go war? Why did you let them?
If you loved me, why did you let them?
Hello. Kerouac was right. The words are simple. I love you. I have always loved you. I always will.
Hello. There’s a light inside of you that never disappeared. Since day one, I have looked at your face and seen the rest of my life reflected back at me. I have not seen anyone else. I don’t think I will. I don’t want to.
Hello. They say you go through so many people before you find the one that fits just right. I only took a breath, closed my eyes, and when I opened them, there you were, smiling with your dimples, shuffling nervously from left to right. All of the sudden, you tether me softly to the ground.
Hello. I get so fed up with the skies above. I want it to pour, I want the world to sink before my eyes. There is no such thing as – oh. You. Of course it’s you. How could it be anything else?
Hello. Here are the little stories I want to tell you. When I was younger, I used to wake up in the middle of the night to find my mother crying. I used to sit in front of the TV, all day, while my parents left for work. I have always been alone. I don’t really mind the quiet. I prefer it. But you have some stories too. I think I’d like to listen just for today.
Hello. Nice to meet you.
You never leave anywhere without retying your laces twice, you murmur something about how tripping in front of someone would be the worst way to meet The One. I laugh. I’ve been beside you for too long I can predict the shadows that dance around your cheek. I know how to sketch the birthmark at the back of your neck. But I’ve never really needed loose laces to fall head first into you.
I think it was slow motion. I think it happened all at once. Yesterday, it was the way I snapped my fingers nervously under the table. It’s the way you started snapping yours too, like we were making more than noise, like you wanted me to hear something else other than the sound of my deafening lack of confidence. Today, it was your smile. You never use that smile for anyone else, I wonder if you’ve noticed. Maybe tomorrow, there won’t be anything. I doubt it. Like the way you breathe around me, slowly, I fell. I wonder if you’ve ever noticed.
Cover me up with the clichés of falling in love with someone who touches your hand but talks about someone else. Wrap me in the words you practice telling anyone but me. I was wrong. Maybe tomorrow, there won’t be anything but to want more. I hope not, I hope not. Because today, what you and I have is more than enough. For a little longer, I think. I think I can live with that.
I wonder when you will notice.
Go away. I need a little cup of tea, a little page in a book, a little piece of the sun to make me feel understood. I need a corner to sit on, maybe a cat or two, I need to feel something other than just to feel blue. But don’t worry, I will not dig my grave today. I will not let it swallow me whole. But I will fight the fight in this little corner of my room.
There is courage in the way I wait for them to strike. There is honor in the way I will never be like them.
I don’t like it here. But there’s nothing left to do anymore. I’ve grown too much I can almost taste the sky. I’ve swayed with the thunder, I’ve kissed the rain. But the kids no longer laugh. I see their hunched shoulders, their teary eyes, the way they run without knowing where to go. They play the game without knowing the rules. I wish someone told them the rules.
The birds are witness to the way I’ve bent to the ground. Any day now, I’m waiting for the second they see. When they do, they take away my limbs first. Then there is a flash of light, and nothing. It doesn’t ever hurt. They lied about that, too. But I feel as small as the umbrella when there is a shed just nearby. But it never took too much to feel small.
I think I like it better when it ends. I like it better when I grow together with someone again. It’s been far too lonely to watch everyone slowly pass from sight. I watch them being lowered to the very ground I am a part of. That’s when they start to laugh again. They, too, leave, of course. Everyone does.
But now, they don’t. Now, I listen. Now I exhale so they could breathe. This was always my favorite part.
This will always be my favorite part.
Write me better. Do not reduce me to cheap rhymes and melodies that go out of tune. I demand to be more than the drunken story you tell for laughs, I demand to be something you don’t forget when you start to sober up. I am not here to remind you to put the pieces of yourself back together. I have always been more than the pile of clothes I left on the floor. I am blood, sweat, and bones. I am weak lungs, a stronger heart, and a steady foot out of the door. And I am not yours for you to write me like that. I am not yours to deserve that.