I promised myself I’d stop carving coffins out of my writing and ruining my poems by making them about you. It’s 10:49 on a Thursday night and I’m drunk on loneliness breaking my promises again.
And I’m looking at the pages imagining I could turn them to ash and with them whatever this thing is that you left in this heart made of glass. I’m willing myself to drop the pen. I’m willing myself to pick up your name and smash it against my bedroom window. I almost convince myself to write your each letter on a piece of paper and set fire to it (confession: it wouldn’t be the first time your first, middle and last names were tossed into flames and I’d like to call you Phoenix because it wouldn’t be the first time you rose from them).
I forget you sometimes. I can go on without thinking about you for days, weeks even, but never longer than two months. It’s like you’re always there, treading the shallow waters of the shore of my consciousness, never straying too far from land.
They say the person you love most is who you think about before bed, and it’s not that I do often, in fact it’s gotten quite rare, it’s just that I’ve imagined more than I’m comfortable with how it would feel to lay under the moonlight through the whole night beside you. I wonder how it would feel to fall asleep skin to skin with my head on your chest if you let either of us actually stay after you were done taking what you wanted from my body. I wonder how it would be if home was a marked spot on the left side of your bed. Instead of counting sheep, I sometimes list all the different reasons why it didn’t work out that way and all the different scenarios that would have led us to a different fate.
I wonder, if I was on the brink of death would I think about you then, would I love you then? Do I love you, now? Have I ever loved you? Or is this thing just my affinity for heartache, my need to feel anything? What exists between us, is it just in the distance, in the false paradise of what could have been? Maybe the unfeasibility of you and I together, maybe that distance, gave us room to love each other. Maybe it’s because you were the one who lit the match, and each time I danced in the rain and stopped thinking in your name you were back with a new one between your fingers ready to strike again. Maybe it’s because I’ve always dreamt in flames. I’m not sure.
All I know is I can remember the different creases in your face each time you smiled and the deeper they got when you laughed, and that as I sit here there’s someone else looking at that face, someone else more familiar than I with it. All I know is that I remember exactly what your kiss tasted like – wine, pot, and mint all rolled into one, but I’ve never kissed you goodnight, and you only ever loved me behind closed blinds, high and with drink in your veins. All I know is that I can remember the sound of your voice, and exactly how low it got when you told me you loved me, that you believed in fate, but you never did anything to fight for that fate, and I’ve watched you fall in love through years with women I’ve compared myself with again and again.
I’m not waiting anymore. I’m done hanging on to your words, done listening to the songs you send me through the periods we go without speaking, done ever believing you actually ever felt something for me.
All I ever was to you was a fantasy. I stood at the altar you built for my body and let you worship my skin, but I deserve someone who’s more interested in unveiling my soul and traveling through its labyrinths to light candles in its temple, than someone who only is interested in how my body feels in the dark.
One night I’ll sit here, no longer able to remember your face, no longer thinking about what we could have been, no longer missing what you were for me, no longer crafting poetry out of your memory.