So the rough draft is finished…

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Sitting with a Ghost

As I go back through all these words and phrases it feels the same as it did when I wrote them. Except there is glass in between the feeling and me.

I remember it. The feeling is familiar and substantial. But I can’t quite touch it.

It’s odd, and I’m almost upset by the fact that I am, in a way, disconnected from the experience. Like it really was a dream I made up. And I have to remind myself that it was real. It really happened. It’s not just a story I tell people when they ask about my first love.

Your ghost doesn’t come to dinner as often anymore, but when he does…it’s not as visceral. Which is the oddest part, because for so long there was nothing but you. And now it’s everything but.

The one thing that remains true…I’m still not sure I want the world to know my story, because it still tastes an awful lot like you.

Definitions

Mixtape: a compilation of favorite pieces of music, typically by different artists, recorded onto a cassette tape or other medium by an individual.

Chronicle: a factual written account of important or historical events in the order of their occurrence.

 

A Note from the Poet

So I think it may be time. I think I’ve got it all out in the open now. I held nothing back–at least everything that’s important is there.

I’m still contemplating full publication.

I have a few reservations–none that will likely push me to leave it as is. But still. I want to do it justice in the end. And that takes time.

I probably won’t post anything new for a while. but there’s plenty here if you need a moment to read about the parade.

That’s all it is, a parade.

A small one-singular and yet intricate.

He’ll know what it’s about. But he’ll probably misinterpret anyway.

And you can rest assured. I’ll get my clean slate–until the next time I have something to say.

Everywhere

The seventh grader I teach sixth period of every day looks exactly like you. Every time he looks at me I’m afraid he’ll expose my deepest thoughts I only told to you.

There’s a stairwell in the university library where you wholly exist to me. The repercussions of our actions have made a home there. I refuse to spend too much time ascending and descending them because breathing in that potent odor reminds me of all the times I almost texted you to tell you how awful it smells. But I never did. For so many reasons.

That is what you have become for me. You are everywhere. In every crease of my life your memory defiantly stands, staring me down as stubborn as ever. I try ironing them out, but the steam is never hot enough, no matter how angry I am.

So you’re everywhere. Your words are in my head. Your sighs are in my pockets and when I remove my hands from that tiny enclosed space they all fall onto the floor, eliciting a gentle thump on the tan stained carpet. Your face plays like a 1920s silent film on the back of my eyelids. And every once in a while, you manage to make a guest star appearance in my dreams.

You’re everywhere. And you’re nowhere. And I’m at a loss for how to handle these leftover love crumbs that I still find in the nooks and crannies of my heart. What am I supposed to do with moments that still taste and feel like you?

The Last Poem

I still think of you constantly.

What’s the weather like where you are?
It’s freezing here.

I no longer wonder if you wear that scarf I made you.
But I hope you do.

I have a playlist of over 300 songs
that sound like you, and me,
and late night conversations about a future we’ll never have,
and a past I’m still learning to let go of.

Apologies itch at my bones at night.
My fingers claw at forgiveness,
they scratch until hope is buried underneath my nails.

I wish it were as easy as saying sorry.
Life just doesn’t work that way.

I saw some rubber ducks in the toy store.
I managed to leave before the tears hit my cheeks.
Just barely though.

There are so many things I wish I could have done with you.

I bought a nerd rope for the first time in years
and it tasted the way your eyes spoke volumes
and it crunched against my teeth like Morse code scavenger hunts

I’m not okay.

I collect regrets like starburst wrappers.
The first regret being that I never heard you play the accordion.
The second–that I’ll never know what your lips taste like.

I didn’t love you the way you wanted me to.
But I did love you.

I don’t send these emails
because that would make me just as selfish as you.

I’ve been having more panic attacks lately.
Sometimes, I’m afraid to fall asleep.

The end of the world.
Death.
Never seeing you again.
They feel the same to me.

I used to cry about it in the shower.
Now I don’t cry at all.

How do you fall asleep at night?
Is your bed big enough for two?
Could I come share my nightmares with you?

I never wanted to be the reason your heart broke.

I wish you weren’t the reason I still feel broken.

Please stop haunting me.