I Can’t Erase Your Hands

I can’t erase your hands.

The photos are gone. Old sweaters have been shoved into boxes and put into storage.

My phone doesn’t ring at 8:03 anymore, your name across the screen, calling me on your way home, and there is an empty space in the driveway where you used to park your car.

I go to a new coffee shop, take a different route home. I play pretend, erase your face from my mind like I never knew you.

I can play music to drown out the sound of your laugh. I can fill my time and my mind with someone new so I don’t have to be haunted by your face.

But I can’t erase your hands.

I can make small talk with my friends and pretend I don’t miss the way you could read my mind.

I can visit my parents, try and go back to my roots, to who I was before I met you.

I can pretend I don’t know you’re out there and away from me.

But I can’t erase your hands. 

I can quit my job.

Move to a new apartment and buy new furniture that you never touched, order drinks we never shared, make friends who have never heard your name.

I can run and hide. I’m good at it.

But I can’t erase your hands.

I walk with my hands in my pockets to pretend I don’t feel the space between my fingers.

It’s not just passion and burning, it’s tracing the ink on my body.

Running your fingers through my hair.

Pressing your fingertips along the outline of my lips before you kissed me.

Taking one look at my face, and wrapping me in your arms, stroking my back and hair at the same time because you just knew I needed you.

I can’t erase your hands. I don’t want to.

Anika is the author of Out of the Habit, available on Amazon.

Keep up with Anika on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Anikajgreen.com