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.
My voice holds fast
afraid to say something wrong
and break the perfect silence
Your voice rushes
wanting to say absolutely everything
yet still saying nothing
We are matched in the pointlessness
of our words, unused
or otherwise because we can’t say
how many times we picture our hands
sliding perfectly together
My silence speaks just as loudly
as the words you leave out
because I can’t say just how many times
I think about kissing you
and you can only tell me everything
that means absolutely nothing
They’re my favorite words
Yet they’re the hardest to say
I feel them swimming through my veins
And I bleed them out in every cut
My eyes brim with them
Most of the time –
Watching a sunset,
Gazing at the stars,
Seeing my content mother,
Feeling anything close and intimate –
But they think something’s wrong
When I can only breathe them out
Without letting them form
Into letters and syllables
I don’t feel anything less
Than the tears I cry,
Than the hurt I scream from,
Than the warm beat of my heart –
Don’t mistake my lack of words
For a lack of feeling
We curl around each other, too afraid of letting go. The silence stings like glass cutting our skin so we turn the dial up and blast whatever sound that comes on just loud enough to fill the emptiness with anything but silence.
Our hands grip as tightly as they can around anyone else’s just to feel the connection because we feel so far away from everyone. It’s scary how connected our phones make us, while also keeping us so far away.
I always thought the dark was terrifying. I thought monsters and my imagination were the scariest things out there. Now as I grow older, the scariest thing is how alone you can feel in a crowded room. How alone you can feel when you’re by yourself with no one to reach out to, even if you wanted to. Even if you built the courage to reach out.
And it scary when you can put out there how terrified you are of this loneliness, and the only thing you get back in return are comments on a screen or a button pushed.
Because don’t we deserve more than just a button pushed?
Sometimes when she crawls into bed next to him, she’ll still pretend it’s you. His shallow breaths, the heat from his body – all of it.
Her head will rest in between his shoulder blades and remember what you felt like.
She knows this isn’t right, and he deserves so much more. She knows her insides are green and only getting darker each time she whispers your name instead of his in the middle of the night.
She hopes one of the times your name gets called out, he’ll notice. One of the times your name gets called out, she hopes he’ll leave her for it. Her weakness swims in her belly and eats her from the inside; she calls it Selfishness.
Sometimes she wishes she could scream it all out. Every single sin she feels, every single dishonesty she commits, every time her eyes close and all she sees is you. Sometimes she wishes she could scream all of that away.
But her throat dries up and her tongue swells. So she hides it behind her smile and averted eyes. And she shows it, just for a moment, in every whisper that echoes in the darkness.
Somehow, he never hears her.
So she still pretends it’s you.
We whisper in the dark even though no one’s around, afraid to break the stillness around us.
I want to reach out and touch you. But I don’t.
I fear breaking the stillness in you, which would shatter the stillness in me.
We whisper about things like
“How big do you think the universe is?”
“Sometimes I hold my breath just to see how long it takes.”
And we never whisper about things like
“I miss you sometimes even when you’re next to me.”
“My heart tries to beat out of my chest to reach you; it needs you close.”
Because that would break the stillness of us.
And sometimes stillness is better to keep than to risk destruction.
Because destroying you would destroy me, and destroying us would destroy the world.
And we have to save the world.
No matter the cost.
I sat in the silence of the house for a little while, decided after just a few minutes that it was too lonely, and turned the music back on.
The silence screams in my head that I’m alone, and often just knowing that hurts. When I thought I had started growing up I guess I didn’t take into consideration how wrong that was. I am still the small child terrified of the abandonment that seems to always come. I try not to expect it anymore, but I still fear it. Fearing it, though, is a lot like fearing the next blink of your eye – it will eventually have to close.
Temporary stages in life are what I have now started to get accustomed to. These people I surround myself with, these beautiful friends and loves I introduce into my life, are all temporary. I fear, because I know this, I never let anyone close enough for me to even consider keeping permanently. I knew I had walls for defenses, but I seemed to have overlooked the electric fence after it.
My soul has been untouched for a while and I think that’s what is the mostly lonesome.
I’m lacking a connection that resonates somewhere further into me than this place I feign is the inner most me.