Brush Stroke

I know you think you define me. But each brush stroke thinks it’s important when it’s on the canvas and each brush stroke thinks that it’s the last and that the painting will be done when the brush leaves the canvas again. But it isn’t. You are just the shading. You are a dot. And I am the one holding the paintbrush.

-I Wrote This For You

Fiction Taunts Me

I’ve become this shell of a person.

Neither wanting too much, nor needing too little. Except that everything that seems important is hidden away, too secret for me to discover. And everything that I think to be so trivial is all my eyes are able to capture behind my corneas. My heart can’t comprehend your absence in my sight. Now all it can feel is what’s like not to feel.

Those tempered moments of fluid respiration you used to inspire in me have vanished. Although I’m beginning to wonder if you were ever here in the first place, or if I’d just imagined your laughter in my ear. Because it seems my imagination has truly gotten the best of me lately as I follow superfluous ideas of you and me walking hand in hand in the chilly autumn air. And I can’t shake the feeling of your arms around me.

This is what writing has done to me. I’ve lost myself in fantasy. Because clearly you do not exist, except in my self-destructive memories of things that have never happened. We have never met, and I cannot begin to recall your name as it has never danced along my tongue. None of what I’d thought has come to be reality. I always hoped it was a self-professing prophecy. I’m not so sure anymore that I have the power to make my own future based off fairy tales and Hollywood endings. Real life isn’t like that.

Fiction likes to tease me in my loneliness. Skipping around me, singing “na-na-na-na-na, you can’t catch me.” Apathy has taken over romanticism and put it to shame at ever trying to prevail. Cynicism and bitterness have come along to shelter my fragile heart from the rainstorm of almosts and indefinite maybes. Fiction taunts me. All the time. Don’t think me a fool in the gravity of the situation that leaves me alone in cold sheets at night.

My damage control is faulty. Some pieces of me are irreparable and I’ll never be the same after this. He should know that. I do. I know that he can’t fix me. He won’t even try. But he thinks he can fill me up, remold me from the inside. And I hesitate, because I know I’ll still feel empty. Maybe even more so than before. He doesn’t understand. He doesn’t even try. And yet he whispers to me, is everything alright?

No it’s not. I’m not okay most days. I know how it sounds. And some days, it’s exactly how it sounds. Like today, when I’m waiting for someone who might never show up, when I’m hoping that he’ll call and whisper how he can fill this emptiness up, knowing that it will never work the way we’d like it to. You see, I know these things, but I find them hard to believe anyway.

Possibility has always been my vice, a temptation all too sweet not to taste. Yet it always leaves my heart bitter and sour–incapable of wholeness, as others take a souvenir and go along their way to visit other monuments and make them incomplete–yet giving more to those who pass by than keeping any of it to myself until I am a shell of who I was, except I’m not sure I know who that was anymore.

So to me, you will always be fiction. As fiction will always be just beyond my reality. Because even reality fools me. And I will succumb to giving myself to the man who I know will never love me, just for the chance to feel something. Because the idea of something, is better than nothing. That is what this emptiness has taught me.

The Truth of the Matter

Do you remember when you quoted
Into the Woods
and told me I’d get major brownie points
if I knew the source?

I do.

And I racked my brain
much longer than I should have
because I wanted to impress you.

I wanted you to think,
“this girl is so amazing…
she knows my favorite lyrics”

And I considered googling it,
I almost did it too.
My pinky was ready to hit enter on the search bar

But we’d promised we’d be honest.

So I told you I didn’t.
No brownie points for me.

And now those brownie points
seem so trivial
in comparison
to the miles between us
and how far apart our souls are

You used to be the reason
I got up in the morning
and the reason
I didn’t go to bed till 2 or 3am

You were my before
my after
and everything I could fit in between

It’s harder when the nostalgia kicks in
to let go
Even after all that’s happened…

I’m afraid to let go.

I’m beginning to think though
that it’s the only way to save us
And part of me wonders
if there’s anything left to save…

Or maybe I’m just not used to change
although you entering my life was such
a rush
so unseen…

I’m grasping at straws
trying to decide

the truth is…

I don’t want to decide.
I just want this to be simple.

And in a way,
it is.

I’m just over-thinking
over-analyzing
over-complicating it.

That’s what I do.

And you,
you know that.
You know me so much better
than I’d like you to.

And I,
I know you.
I know you so much better
than you think I do.

Which makes this so much worse
Because I know how you’re feeling
and why you’re feeling that way
because I feel
felt it too.

I wish I could tell you
that’s it’s all going to be okay.
But I can’t lie to you.
and things aren’t okay.

All I can say is…
I’m in pain too.

Absence

You’re still here
not the way you used to be
cause now your presence just haunts me

I’m constantly reminded of what
I didn’t know I’d lost

Mostly in the songs you used to hum
under your breath
just loud enough so that I could hear
but so quiet I had to lean in closer
and murmur the question,
“what’s on your mind?”

I can’t even hard boil eggs
because
EGGS=BASKETBALLS

Every time I cook I think
of tasting not quite done potatoes
because she wanted the pan…
and you,
you came so close to me
I almost couldn’t breathe

Because now I’ve blocked out the songs you sent me
even though I fell in love with them too
Because it hurts too much
to feel you in the air
knowing that things such as these
are only meant to taunt me

My heart is not that strong.

So in my absence
I had hoped to regain
some sense of self
in order to return to you
with more certainty of who I was
and who I wanted to be with you

because it was unfair
to be such a mess of myself
and try to explain it to you

I didn’t have the words.

And now in your absence
I have the words
but I don’t have your attention

I just have this emptiness
and it has enveloped me
in missing you
and what we used to be
so much so that I am breathless

But not the way I used to be
when you were near
It is uneasy now
In the silence
that you have mandated

I still hear you though
your silence is so loud
so loud I can’t hear myself think sometimes

And I think it’s a shame
that I was willing to fight for something
but since it wasn’t what you were fighting for
our unspoken truce was violently broken

Or so it seems to be that the way I fought,
more than what I was fighting for
convinced you that I wasn’t committed
to the cause

But if you had waited,
even a moment
or spoken up
without accusations
maybe I wouldn’t be so claustrophobic
in this silence

Because you’re still here
Not the way either of us want you to be
the lack of your presence haunts me.

Did you know the hold you had on me?

Letting Go

It hurts to let go. Sometimes it seems the harder you try to hold on to something, or someone, the more it wants to get away. You feel like some kind of criminal for having felt, for having wanted. For having wanted to be wanted. It confuses you, because you think that your feelings were wrong and it makes you feel so small because it’s so hard to keep it inside when you let it out and it doesn’t come back. You’re left so alone that you can’t explain. Damn, there’s nothing like that, is there? I’ve been there and you have too. You’re nodding your head.

-Henry Rollins

Out of Touch

I’m so young
Twenty is not old enough to
know anything
‘I don’t know anything about
you’, he says
but he wants to know
everything
like where I want my dreams to take me
like how to bring me to my knees
except you knew that from a thousand miles away

Life as I know it
well–
I don’t know much of
anything.

Do I love you?
Because I miss you
and this red wine’s
not helping at all
Ain’t that a shame?

Red wine usually helps
But here I am,
lying on the couch
bottle in hand
tears teasing at my cheeks
waiting for a break in
the silence

Because I don’t handle
these things well.

I’ve never been good at goodbye
and December’s never the
best time
to turn me loose on myself

inner monologue after
inner monologue
that sometimes slips out as
self-inflicted lectures
on how it’s my fault
you left

And I’d claim desperation
like insanity
to get you back,
repair a year of damages
if you asked

We could skip that blizzard crazed
Thursday in February
when I first felt you slip away
and did everything I could to pull you close
or those not so sunny summer days
when losing you seemed unbearable
or every day since then
now that you’re gone.

You think I don’t care
and you’d be wrong,
Just take a walk with me
in the midnight hour
meet my misery and all it’s
company
as I let you get away
with the murder of maybe

That’s all I had to give you,

and the corners of my mouth
or my cold feet you used to warm.

The Judgment:
I’m so young
Too young to feel this old
Too young to know anything
Like how to find myself in this silence
you created.

These Words

What is there to say to you?

I’ve wondered why I keep writing about you, to you, for you, after all this time. I repeatedly pick up a pen and find scraps of paper just to get my thoughts down before I forget. I’m always searching for better words, simpler phrases, non cliche metaphors, more honest ways of reaching out to you. My mind is in constant contemplation of how to get through to you.

Don’t you realize, how much you mean to me?

But apparently that’s not enough. Nothing I do is ever enough. Has it ever occurred to you, that you ask too much of me? I am not perfect. I make mistakes. And everything I want to say to you, gets misconstrued with what you think you hear. And even this confession, after so many others I’ve handed to you in my own vulnerability, may go unheard in your stubbornness to blame me for our downfall. Because I doubt you’ll read this. But then again, who knows what you’ll do in this silence.

All I know is that you left.

Without giving me a chance to fight for you. Your absence sucked the fight right out of me. I’m tired of this back and forth. Except I fear this time you’ll never come back. If only you had let me defend myself…I could have done something to save <this> whatever it is. Except it’s not what you want it to be. I’m not who you want me to be. Which is funny, because I tried for so long to be who you want. Then when I finally realized I should just be who I want to be, you decided you want me. But you never said you love me. Never directly to me.

Not that it would have changed things I suppose.

You want me, but do you love me? You never said. I can never read you, or these things you do and do not say. But if you do, love me that is…well, it would be ignorant of me to assume that your love is unconditional. Because I would think you’d understand that these things take time. We can’t just go back to who we were. That is what I do though, I assume. So I am wrong more often than not.

I am also sorry.

For a lot of things. For how we fell. For how we have apparently ended. We both made mistakes. Mostly out of our desire to keep each other close. I think, because I fear that if I let go–I’ll lose a part of myself. So I desperately try to keep you. As do you, with me. We’ll both have to learn how to forgive each other, and forgive ourselves for this mess we’ve made, together. I wish things could have been different. They aren’t though. We’ll have to get used to that.

I struggle to know what to say.

Knowing that some of it will hurt you. And some of it you’ll misconstrue. Especially if it comes out wrong. But I can’t say it if you won’t listen. I know you asked for space, for silence. Even though I don’t agree, I’ll respect it. And I’ll be here, if you ever need anything, studying my dictionary and sounding out every syllable as I write.

It’s just my nature.

To pour my heart out to you. Even if it comes out in tangles and I can’t stand how it sounds. Because I think I’ll always be writing to you, about you, for you. Because you’re you, and I’m me. No matter what happens, I’ll search forever for better words, simpler phrases, less cliche metaphors to reach out to you.

For now though, this is all I have to give.

A Truce

I probably shouldn’t be telling you this–
not sure if I’m ready,
not sure about anything really.

but a part of me
misses you.

Not in the way you’d probably want me to
but still
You have to admit,
it’s something.

Are you okay?
Are you happy?

I just wonder if you’re doing alright.

That’s all.

A Letter

Dear —

I wrote you a letter today. It said everything I needed you to hear, in the most perfect way. The t’s were crossed, the i’s were dotted–all in my fervent cursive hand. The words flowed out so easily that I almost couldn’t fathom setting them free.

I wrote you a letter today. A confession of my deepest thoughts, a revelation of all the possible plots. I arranged it just so–no rhyme, but lots of rhythm to sooth your soul. The sentences pieced together, like a finished jigsaw puzzle of my scattered heart.

I wrote you a letter today. It was pretty, yet simple. Not generic, nor excessively chatty. I reminded myself plenty of times not to get carried away. And I signed it off with a quiet flourish–an offer of my love and good wishes.

I wrote you a letter today. You would have liked it if I had sent it. Because, of course, this isn’t that same letter that was written so diligently–so amorously. You might have noticed the imperfections, the discombobulation of sense that I sometimes feel.

I wrote you a letter today. It said everything I needed you to hear, but then the wind in the park it blew away. And I couldn’t catch that single sheet of paper I had left my heart on. So I thought that maybe it was meant to be–for us to go along as we are–to just be you and just be me.

I wrote you a letter today. It was not perfect. My grammar still needs some work. My cursive is a little sloppy. I might have misspelled some words in all my haste. Just don’t hold it against me. Try to read between the mistakes–although they are abundant–I had the best of intentions to write you the loveliest letter…only to find there is no perfection in pouring ones own heart out onto the page.

With all my uninspiring faults and my fearful thoughts,
Me

Awake

It’s getting late where your soul resides. Oh how I wish to lay myself beside you in the tumultuous sheets of paper that hide in every crevice of my room, in drawers, corners, and trash bins. Our love would be ink stained lullabies, rhyming with the sweet and low sugar you pour into your coffee every morning on your way to working full time at feeling alive.

My skin, sunburned and itching to be submerged in the warm raptures of your eyes, velvet pools of blue ocean mystery. But you still won’t wake. What plays on the back of your eyelids when you fall asleep? I’d love to see. Because I know you dream in extremes. I hear you murmur melodies of aspirations, and I lose respiration at the sound.

I strip down to the bare essentials, scantily clad with invisible tattooed memories of hours staring at the night skyline retreating into dark shadows of dreams I cannot recall. My heart is hot on the trail of missed opportunities ignited by a snowstorm in the middle of July. And I’d chase you around the world to get the answers to unasked questions of faith and how to fish meaning from the ocean of this life.

Why do I wonder if you’re real? Or just something for which my heart would like to feel? So many times I thought my head was teasing me with words, words I think I’m supposed to say or hear, just to fill the silence between the poundings in my chest. But the interruption seems to be too much and no amount of sleepless nights waiting up for peace of mind will satisfy my urge to fall asleep in your embrace.