Coping Still

And if I had stayed,
I'm not entirely sure where I'd be coming
home to.
If your lap would become rest stop
for my head,
would your fingers travel through my hair
a map made by tangles, the way they did
the first night I kissed you?

Were we really like that once?

And if I had stayed,
would that home be welcoming?
Would I not miss you the way I do now,
except be physically closer?
Would you leave the sound of lasers and
boss levels to stay with me until I slept?

But I didn't stay.
And lately I miss you more than less.
But I don't regret leaving,
because in the process,
I reclaimed myself.

So I'll stay lonely.
And the questions can remain unanswered.
It hurts, but it's truly for the best.

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Finding Shore

Today my family looked at furniture
and I thought of you.
My mom doesn’t know that I anchor my hand
inside of hers when we are leaving places
because my eyes aren’t ready for the exit.

Instead,
they’re painting pictures
of you and I between dining sets
preening ourselves in gilded mirrors,
entangled limbs and mouths
falling backwards into couches,
laughing.

It’s easier to write about what was,
over a month ago.

It’s easier to not write at all,
when the pain capsizes
within you.

I still ache.

And I pray
for your happiness,
for someone to find your companionship,
for you to have hope,
in all things.

Not because I think it makes me a better person
or because I’ll be closer to God,
but because you have always been worthy
of all those things.
So when I find harbor in the small grouping
that is my family,
when I return to a unit,
it is not to hide away from every memory.

It’s to be able to walk through a room
with you in every nook and cranny
every cavity of my chest where I can still feel you
sighing and content,
and know that of all things you are
deserving of,
I am worthy of them, too.

I am worthy, period; even without you.

How to Keep a Bed Warm

This is what it comes down to:
we put our efforts into people
like we are
wrecking ball.

A few swings and
we’ll break the mortar;
heart becomes warm hearth
in welcoming cavern.
but darling,
while idealizing fire,
we often forget the burn.

And I am often
witness
over anything else,
I am the
magic 8 ball,
collecting dust on the shelf;
I and I alone am
responsible
for repeatedly doing this
to myself.

And
this is what it comes down to:
that an empty bed
is a
worse fate
than a
hurting heart,
that
we aim wrong
on purpose,
knowing we’ll make
our
some sort of mark.

This,
this is what it comes down to:
as a boy
and a girl
cross paths,
making rotten decisions
on both their parts.

Sometimes,
we choose things
laced with heartache,
because they’re better
than what we’ve got.

I’m Never Done Writing About You

I’m holding my breath like my
lungs are windchimes.
I’m awaiting the ringing through the breeze, the first gasp for air,
any waking sign that you’ve finally
returned home.

Do not dance in the wind just to leave me gasping.
I want to inhale you in gusts,
gulp in the dust
from the bottoms of your boots,
crusted in your soles like souvenirs from the cities you walked in.

You took forever to caress the tinkling steel pipes that have dangled in the light
of the many sunsets I counted while you
were away.
But you have waltzed through their tangles, have me rasping like I’m strangled because I needed you to be the air I breathed.

I am holding you accountable for the days the windchimes spent in silence; the days my lungs took a plunge and I could not, for lack of air flow, even scream.

Where’d You Go; I Miss You So

Passion Pit is playing and I’m remembering your profile,
as we drove through Clayton, somewhere on Delsea and I
listened as you sang on key,
one hand on the steering wheel,
fingers on your free hand
tapping absentmindedly.

I don’t ever remember hearing Passion Pit in your presence.

I wrote a story where you died and I visited your gravestone,
with two Coronas, in a baggy flannel and torn up Chucks because it was easier
for me to pretend you were dead than to accept you had willingly left.

I still want everything to do with you.

I have written probably over a hundred posts, prose, poems about you and I don’t know how to stop.
I don’t know what else to say to you to make you get it.
You broke me,
and I’m still sweeping up the pieces, trying to glue myself back together,
rise from the ashes…
but your smile still burns like raided villages,
and your laughter is the like the cries of terrified children
and murder and massacre take place simultaneously;
easier to believe in a harsher reality,
than accept and live with whatever the hell you did to me.

You fucked me up.
You fucked me over.

All without making love to me.
All because you tried to make memories.
All by making promises you never intended to keep.

Old songs are playing,
and I wonder if you would still sing along
if you knew all the words.
I wonder if you’d link the fingers of your free hand
with mine, and we could just drive,
in silence, in moments
that I live in more than reality.
Frankly,
I hate that I still think about these days,
I still think about you this way.
That it’s been almost nine months since August 28th,
and I still see you
sitting in the Lazy Boy as I sit at your feet.

I always bowed down to you,
kissed the ground you
walked upon.

I can’t get you out of my head and I hate it.

I hate it.

I absolutely
fucking
hate
this.

I See Fire (Kygo Remix)

I think
I wrote erotica
because I forgot
what it was like
to touch

and be touched.

Toward the end,
between him and I
very few know
it was all touch.
Never sex.

Maybe that was catalyst.

Over the course of a few hours,
you were reaching for my hand.

I wish you knew about virgin flesh.

I wish my skin burned your hands.

I wished that I was a toxin,
an atrophy,
a disease.

I wish
I wish
I wish

now I’m left with phantom
patterns on skin
and a plaguing sickness
some vagrants call
memory.

Simile.

I loved you like war;
Sacrifice was unquestioned.
I’d lie down
repeatedly in the trenches,
in wait of a bullet that was meant for you.
I’d jump in its path,
take its hit and
fall down,
hoping my blood would speak your name
one last time.

He loved me like healing;
Bandaging each wound you left
gaping open.
Pulling out shrapnel
from the skin that
lay over my throat,
my lungs,
my heart.;
each piece embedded with your initials.

You crashed like thunder;
angry and frightening,
weathering a storm you chose to face without me.
Her fingertips caressed you like drops of rain,
and the sight of me was like lightning,
illuminating all your mistakes.

He broke me like china;
decorated my surface was promises
and fine words.
Got angry at beauty that
disguised vulnerability;
each vase, each plate a reminder of
tragedy met with empathy.
I lay in pieces on his floor,
fractured and chipped.

He never had the courtesy to
sweep me up.