Ever saw someone who made your brain freeze when they smiled? Someone whom you couldn’t bear to lean on you in case they heard your hammering heart?
Hers is a beauty that loosens the flesh from my bones and makes its home in the canals of my marrow. Each time I saw her, an earthquake in my chest.
I thought I could walk away. But I couldn’t. Not one time. It was always just pantomime. I was rooted to the spot I’d first laid eyes on her. So beautiful I couldn’t bear to look at her. Couldn’t keep my eyes on her. Couldn’t tear them away. She would show up and my body condensed into a whisper. The sound of my resolve breaking was the cracking of knuckles.
There are secret ways of living and leaving. You can ignore someone into oblivion; shut them out until they no longer exist. How does one describe what it is to be let go of, except to say: it is as precise as a grip come loose. One finger opening at a time to release your hand from theirs. As for the wanting, it is nothing like the moon. Not waxing or waning. Once a void, always a void. A lifetime of drought.
I think we are all going to have to find a way to be comfortably in love with absent things. Because I don’t know what I’d do if I saw you again. Hit you. Kiss you with all my breath. Squeeze my eyes shut until you left again. I don’t know.
The earth reveals nothing. Where do I look for you? Punch me where it leaves a bruise so I know you existed outside of my heart.
Silence can be a wet mattress. Heavy, sodden with the unsaid. Stinking with craving. My love waits in the crevices the light does not reach. I am that person pointing to the sky, brokering with God, asking what I can offer for the relief of this missing. That thunder is laughter. Love and god both ask for me on my knees.
Propel me ahead into a time that does not yet exist. Where I will wait for a moment to live again. Until then, let me sleep. I relinquish every song that has curled my insides. I surrender the memory of the ocean, and sand between my toes. I give up the joy of you. I cannot forget you. Is there a way to not continue remembering? I will forfeit all memory. I will give up the taste of strawberries.
Grief weakens my lungs. Each day is a bite-sized shock. I swallow morsels of lightning. My mouth is singed from tongue to throat. My gullet is the barrel of a gun. You win. You win because to you, we are already left behind. We are the past. We are another life in another world where all the clocks have stopped.
I have lost you again to another day.