I can still feel your fingers leaving imprints on my skin, along my spine, marking your territory for the rest of time. I memorized your touch, every inch of you; it was as effortless as breathing, so life-affirming. You branded me with your touch, inscribed like a forever tattoo. I scrub and scrub until my skin is raw, but it’s never enough to erase you. And try as I might, I cannot rid myself of every word, every kiss, every memory — every ‘almost’ with you remains intact, a reminder of all that I have lost.
I can see every mile marker, every landmark of discarded love and promises. It’s the graveyard of lost love, bones and skeletons of our unfinished romantic saga. I can smell the fresh air on those cold winter nights, the nights we were skating on the outdoor ice. It was just the two of us in our own little universe of endless love and memory-making. I know I probably made you take too many pictures with me, but I didn’t care. I wanted to capture every moment together so we could look back on them when we sat in our rocking chairs 40 years from now. How could I have ever known that forever would never be ours to keep? How could I have guessed that forever would only be dangled in front of me like some sort of cruel taunt, a twist of fate so harsh I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Missing you is pure anguish, and I am left to wonder if that ache will ever disappear.
You’re gone, but shards of you remained in my heart for safekeeping. The most beautiful pieces of you still exist within me; try as I might, I cannot pluck out and discard them. You are grafted into my skin, intertwined with my muscles and tendons. Every little moment we had together dances in my lungs; the cells in my body move to the rhythm of our song. The future you destroyed, the chapters we never got the chance to write — they trickle through my veins, showing no signs of fading away. There is not a single memory I can safely ignore – they always come back to haunt me.