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

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?


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