This Is How I’ll Rid Myself Of You

woman next to a window
Drew Wilson

I know you know.

I know you. I’m sure you still sit there and listen to all the screaming in my poetry about how much I miss you. I can see you right now, ball cap back, on that leather chair at your desk, blunt burning in one hand between those two skillful fingers (oh how I lost myself at the mercy of those fingers), looking at a screen and devouring words about how much I wanted this (whatever this is.)

Don’t tell me it’s a punch to the gut. Sit there and take all that crying and cursing about your mouth. That fucking mouth. I got caught in its undertow, you know. It swallowed my body whole. I’ve tried to come back to surface, used others as a life raft, but no other mouth has been able to bring me back to shore. I wish I could drown its memory, but your mouth is twice the size of the Atlantic.

Don’t tell me you miss mine too. Don’t tell me you think of me. I’ve used too many pages and killed too many trees with all the remembering. Even when I wanted to forget. I’m sure you know about all the times I couldn’t. And all the times I didn’t care to.

Again, thank you for all the poetry you left these hands with. And yes, you should be sorry, so goddamn sorry. I hope your life is everything you want it to be. I pray to gods I’ve never known and deities more ancient than the kismet that brought your hands to my skin that your life is sweet. I hope when you’re with her you never once think of me because you’re right, you should be sorry, so goddamn sorry.

It may have been about you, it may still be about you, it may always be about you (I hope one day it’s not about you), but I have never written any of it for you. You’ve never deserved it. Not my words, not anything else. Not my thoughts, not my skin, not my dignity. Not my heart that knows no other muse.

I’ve carved you into my writing thinking somehow I was cutting myself open and letting you bleed out of me. You see, it’s like you’re in my blood, like I’d have to let these veins run dry to rid myself of any trace of you.

What more can I say that hasn’t been said?

That there are songs I cannot listen to anymore because they either touch me in ways that make me want to find that soft spot between my legs or make me want to collapse on my bed and cry beyond exhaustion. That you’ve ruined them all for me. That I still listen to them on repeat. That I’m as addicted to the nostalgia as I was to you.

That I blocked your number from my phone because I know you’re bad for me, but I’ve always loved the things that hurt the most. That I sometimes unblock it to see if I’d hear from you. That I block it again because I don’t trust myself, not when it comes to you. That I secretly hope one day I will check my email and see your name in my inbox. That I want to know it’s killing you too. That it kills me to think you’re not hurting too. That I hate to think you never think of me.

Or maybe I’ve forgotten in my verses that I am afraid no one will ever make me feel the way I felt when you touched me. Like I’m out of my body, but still have never been as present. Like I’m nowhere but everywhere. Like I’m hanging on to the edge of a comet, never scared to let go. Like I kiss you and taste the stars that created us. Like your atoms and mine come from the same one. Like we’ve found each other through particles time and time again.

That you’ve ruined other mouths for me.

That I’m scared each time I feel anyone else’s it just won’t be the same.

That this love, this nameless thing, has left this sort of hollow space in me so big, it doesn’t seem there’ll be another mouth as big as yours with which to fill. That it’s vacant here, but there’s no vacancy. That the neon sign is flashing on my front step, but there’s no key.

That I’m still trying to let go of what never was and what could have been.

I may still write about you. About us. I may still paint worlds in which you and I walk hand in hand down the street. I may still dream up parallel universes where you took a risk. I may still cry at the thought that they may not exist. But in doing so, I’m slowly ridding myself of all that is you.

I will write about you until the day I can put up a tombstone that reads Death By Exsanguination and lay to rest your memory. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Houston-based writer and artist.

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