Like Atoms, Our Relationship Was Mostly Just Space

kevin dooley
kevin dooley

Atoms are mostly space. It isn’t profound, basic chemistry we all learned in middle school. This is an atom, it is the building block of life. An entire universe upon these invisible particles we cannot see but trust they exist. Another lesson in blind faith., tiny particles compounding to create our life.

I could feel the space between us, even though you were breathing next to me. Your atoms were miles away, suspended in a dream far too fleeting to include me. Your memories were liquid, empting me out, letting others fill your thoughts.
They used to be for me, but somewhere along the way we sprung a leak. I took on your water, filled myself to save you.

You can’t leave someone like that. Someone whose atoms were whole before they met you. A field filled with flowers as they blossomed in the sun. A warm soul filling the spaces in winter, a soul who filled your empty bones. Winter gave up to spring and your atoms became too heavy. The emptiness you had, you craved. Your atoms wanting freedom from the spirit you tied down.

Later you offered me atoms of words. Sounds came from your mouth, but all the syllables were just space. I watched your throat vibrate and your lips curl with intention. Forgetting was always what you were best at. The sounds became faster while your bones were quick to hallow. Like a bird, bones hollow in order to fly. You wanted to take your space and fly wherever you felt. Fly far away, not caring about who you left behind. Dismissing me, the one who kept you warm through the cold.

“You changed me, this isn’t me.” You’re back to normal. Basic chemistry. Atoms are mostly space. If you aren’t aware, then it doesn’t exist. My atoms were fine before they met yours, buzzing and moving, heading in any direction they were meant. Our electromagnet fields found each other, collided one night, to be pulled apart by choice. Nothing exists until you try to measure it. Where is the measurement of the space between our hands? Your arm around my shoulder as we fell asleep in the cab? Because your reasons keep on running away, bonding to others, creating the reality you wanted to have.

My space filled up with metaphors, written letters to no one as I fell asleep. My bones were never hollow, filled with the wonder of everyone I’ve ever met. The positive and the love growing flowers in my lungs. The spaces of my ribcage filled with good intention, human error and melodramatic feelings. That night I sat up and wondered, are atoms of dying stars self-aware? I heard once if you look close enough you can’t tell where you end and the universe begins. We go about our days looking for connection in a place where there is none. Tell me, what was the point? It doesn’t mean anything. You and I were just passing stardust.

It does well to remember, atoms are mostly space. TC mark

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