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Tag Archives: prose

The Light Flickers

Don’t forget to tell me good-bye when the time’s right. Don’t forget to hold the door open and watch me leave. Don’t forget to keep that smile on your face and, please, don’t forget to dream about me every night after.

When the next one whispers how much they love you when they think you’re sleeping, don’t forget to hold your breath and pray they don’t know you’re awake. Don’t forget to distance yourself and stop answering the phone. Don’t forget what those words sounded like when they came from my lips.

Down the road when you hold the-one in your arms and look at their sleeping face, don’t forget to picture mine. Don’t forget the feeling in your arms as they ache to hold me instead.

When things stop working and they leave you, don’t forget about the way you left me. Don’t forget the sway of my hips, or my tensed jaw.

Don’t forget me.

Don’t forget.

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Forgotten Socks

Your socks were rolled up and left under the bed. It’s been months but it still gave me pause, and I held them in my hands as though I had never seen them before. Except I had.

I might’ve been called mad if someone had seen me staring at a balled up pair of socks but it was all I could do. Suddenly waves of you, and us, washed over me and something got caught in my throat. I struggle to call that a name I no longer use for you.

I didn’t know if I should bury them like I did us. Or maybe set them on fire. Or maybe even keep them.

I put them back and pretended like I hadn’t found them after so long.

Now I’m stuck trying to forget you again.


what it’s not

Her fingers trace the lines on his skin, each graze a silent prayer for it to sink into his skin so deeply she becomes a part of the ink.

She hopes when he looks at his own skin all he sees is her. When his eyes find those marks, she hopes all he can feel are her fingers over them.

No one ever told her it’s okay to be alone.

Her breath clings to her throat and she doesn’t realize she’s stopped breathing. That exhale comes and makes her heart race and she swears it’s him.

No one ever told her she doesn’t need anyone.

Her own arms find their way around her and she can feel him missing from her. Words press against her lips although she knows she doesn’t know what they mean.

Because how can this be love when it makes you fear the empty space he’s not in?

Yet still they beg for their release.

No one ever taught her what love is.


Little Secrets

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His legs hang over the side of the railing and his eyes stare straight ahead. Between his fingers is burning death and he takes every drag slow and meticulously, willing it’s magic to work faster.

Bright lights shine from down below and he contemplates his options. Guiltless chance or a surefire suicide. Maybe it could look like an accident.

Smoke gushes from between parted lips and he’s grown to like the taste.

He wonders how many flowers have grown in his graveyard chest but thinks maybe he’s barren. It feels like he’s barren. It feels like all he is, is death waiting to happen. Eyelids shut tightly and he wonders why it has yet to happen.

One foot slips behind the other and a shoe dangles precariously above the rushing traffic. He thinks of this as picking petals off of roses; to, or to not.

Instead of letting chance make it’s mind up, he takes both shoes off and lays them beside him. Knowing they’re safely next to him gives him a false comfort and an unsettling ache.

His mind wanders into the crevices of his thoughts that he blocks off in the daylight, the caution tape torn off. There are dark bags beneath his eyes and he can barely remember the last time he slept. The ache never wanes and the tired never gets comforted by sleep.

Burned to the end, he flicks his cigarette to the ground and slowly, so slowly, he lets himself rise to the challenge of not actually jumping when he can. Instead he turns and grabs his shoes, stepping down from the metal railing and letting himself enter into a more sturdy ground.

 

Not tonight, he thinks.

 

Never tonight.


War

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.

 


Skeletons

We tear our skin off so that our souls are bare and when they touch it feels electric. I feel the pulse of my heart and I wonder if you feel it too; I swear it takes up the whole room.

Your hands are on me and I try my damnedest not to think of him. My eyes fight to stay locked onto yours so I don’t lose myself in dreams of the past I can’t seem to shake off. I don’t think you see it that way.

You tell me things so sweet it make my eyes water and I try so hard not to hear his voice. I know I can’t say them back. I know you know it, too.

 

I haven’t been able to understand why you accept so little.

 

We dance like lovers do and I breathe you in to the best of my ability. In, out. In a little deeper. Hold. Exhale. I pray this silent wish is granted.

Side by side we lay, our limbs intertwined and mixed like they were meant to be that way. We look like an art piece and I think it looks a little sad. I wonder if you see it, too. But I don’t ask.

I could never pry my lips open wide enough to make anything in my mind a reality. I ignore the beat of my heart and try to get lost in yours.

I sink into you and I’m so glad you pull me closer. I empty my lungs in a desperate attempt to let myself be pulled so far in I melt into your skin, into your bones, into your life. I want to let you breathe for me because I can only seem to find toxicity every time I open my mouth.

When your eyes close and your breathing evens out, I whisper my love for you until my throat runs dry. Maybe if I say it enough it’ll find it’s way into reality. Maybe if I wish hard enough, it’ll come true.

 

I love you I love you I love you.


Just a little ice to numb the pain.

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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.