I’ve built a bridge between
two worlds that fit
two sides of me
It creaks with weight and
looks like neither side (of course)
and it does only
what it’s meant to
On one side you see a burning building
and it’s so beautiful you can’t help
but look at it from a distance
yet still want to touch it
You think it’s burning the
rough edges and what will be left
is a pure diamond that will congratulate you
for staying and not touching
But it only burns,
new kindling added from the same
broken down houses
The other side has soft edges,
and a pink tint, like looking through
or an old photograph
Something about it makes you feel
right at home, and even the dark
is only for sleep
and not for nightmares
I sit on the bridge to guide
those who find me
but I’m stuck in the middle;
a blockade from one side
and the next
You can find me in the lock-jawed silence of every word I have never spoken when it meant the most – when the bombs were planted at the base of every heartache and mistake, and I only stood watching, mouth zip-tied shut.
I let the ruins of shattered memories fill me with ghosts I have never learned to forget, and at night they come out of my throat like flames.
Can you find the war still going on behind my eyes, and can you feel the loss inside me?
The shadows feel like old friends with daggers pressed into my back, but I hold them with love I’ve never stopped feeling. I whisper with my last breath that I will save them, when I never could. When they could never save me.
He called it trauma.
I didn’t even think the shell of myself was so cracked.
How was I supposed to know this is what it feels like when the war has gone on for years? Even though the white flags were raised, no one can let go of the anger.
I didn’t realize I was still dealing with the aftermath.
The sinkhole of my mouth,
the tragic words I whisper
when his eyes close for the night.
I never tell him I feel like lost tupperware
hidden somewhere on the top shelf,
in the very back.
When the connection feels lost and
somewhere along the lines
he could no longer feel me,
it’s heartbreaking to say my fingertips
still remember the skin of his back
when he lied down facing away from me.
He said I stopped looking at him
the same, but his image is still burned
into the back of my head,
and I will think of him every night
he no longer sleeps beside me,
and I will feel the lack of his presence
every time the bed doesn’t dip
from his weight. He said he no longer
knew if I loved him.
I will carry the weight of my failure,
of the love I never learned to express,
and the burden of my closed lips.
I don’t drink much. I can remember the last time I was drunk,
and that was months ago. One, maybe two. Then I’m done.
Being drunk only amplifies whatever mood my heart is in.
But one or two, and that softens it. The gray sadness
becomes a little more dull, a little more bearable.
Tonight I’m drinking water and it occurs to me;
I want a drink.
All I can think about is watching the sunset with a glass of something sweet.
Then we slow dance our way inside where you let me read your palms and you attempt to read mine. The florescent light from the kitchen bathes us in yellow and we slow dance in our bare feet on the cool tile.
The forever-present weight on my chest finally doesn’t feel so threatening and I can breathe right now with you. Tomorrow can dance before my eyes and I can sigh with a soft comfort in the safety of your arms.
Somehow we make it up the stairs and fall into old dreams still lingering in our sheets. Our fingers intertwine and we lose sense of who is who and all I know is I’m complete.
All I can think about is our love.
Sometimes it feel likes a stone arch, one that you would find in the ruins of some old place. There’s something so beautiful and yet so sad about it. You press your hand to it and try to breathe in the life that used to be there.
I’m sure that when others say they have an old soul they don’t mean one that was born into the world already in ruins. Or so easily able to be crumbled. Like it has already weathered from time that had yet to even touch it. Yet sometimes it feels like an ancient stone arch. Or maybe pieces of one.
I’m not a landmark that everyone wants to see, to wish they had been apart of or had seen in it’s glory. In the midst of everything, a few wandering glances might catch sight of me and see beauty from the wreckage, but mostly I’m an overlooked, rundown, nothing-great.
The stories found here aren’t so wondrous. They aren’t magical and they don’t take you to some far-off place.
The stories found here are as plain as stone and maybe just as cold. Don’t forget to wear your jacket and tread carefully. Don’t slip on any cracks.
Don’t lose yourself in the way he loves you. He kisses you because he can; it’s not because you align his stars or keep his blood warm.
When your eyes close in the familiar darkness of his room, don’t get caught up in the way it feels like home. It is a place to rest your head next to his, not an escape from your world. This isn’t a reprieve and he is not a safe haven.
Yours arms can wrap around him and as much as your heart wants to jump into him, it is still yours. It’s okay to love – it is always okay to love – but remember, please, that you are more than your love for him.
He can whisper into your hair until his lungs give out, but words are just letters and sounds and they are just as easily said as lies. Please, just be smart. Everything can be broken, from his words, to your heart.
The stars can glitter all they like, and feel free to toss them your wishes. Just don’t waste your wishes on him. If only one ever gets granted, know it’s okay to be selfish and let it be in your best interest.