I know how it feels to have a tinder heart and a paper body. To feel so soft against the world that seems too harsh, and think that a spark could turn you straight into ash.
I know how it feels to tread through air and startle the phantoms that haunt the silent corners, and to want to freeze the moments where you felt so alive in a time capsule for safekeeping. I know how coating your thoughts with nostalgia makes breathing easier, because living in the past doesn’t seem so terrible when you’ve lost the map to the future, right?
I know how it feels to run your hands through pages and pages of letters scattered on your bedroom floor. They wrote you beautiful words that now make you feel as hollow as the bottles you drink. You try to find the messages left inside each of them, and you let yourself become weaker than how you aspire to be.
I know how it feels to remember promises that now shine like empty words with their tattered edges. They were real, they say to you. They were here. Empty thoughts can set such carless fires to the soul, but you and I both know that, don’t we? We can trace the source from the trail of ashes that have been left behind from its spark.
I know how it feels to measure moments in the heartbeats you skip, and how a palm can feel like salvation with such grace and poise. You remember the way their hand felt against your cheek and on the curve of your back. You remember how they held you with so much strength and devotion on those cool summer nights. You thought to yourself: This is it. This is the only magic that the universe needs to know of.
I know how it feels to know the shadows behind the shades in your living room, and to know that the bare floorboards hold the secrets to your heart. They saw you both dancing to Bruce Springsteen in the summer, and watched you fall in love when the first snowflake fell from the December sky. They were there when they got down on one knee and asked you the simplest question. They saw you say yes to the ring that holds onto you because it fits – not because it is fastened or stretched by false pretenses.
I know how it feels to wrestle with emptiness, and to want to undo the not-doing with one final gesture. I know how it feels when the weight of darkness crashes down onto your chest in the middle of the night, and how you wish things would stop spinning because the axis seems tilted now. I know, love, I know.
I know how it feels to be lost, left, and forgotten.
But I also know how it feels to breathe through the pain and create something beautiful out of its residue. I know that there is strength within you to put one foot in front of the other and sprint with momentum. I know that your humble hands are capable of creating beauty in brush strokes and in inked penmanship. I know that the city lights will guide you towards the better, and that you are never too broken to be beyond repaired.
I know how it feels being lost within infinite moments and memories, but I also know that you are not alone. I know that there is strength in you to right the new wrongs. I can see it in your dilated eyes as you search for the answer for your fragile heart. I know that you will create beauty in the neglected and plaster yourself together with every fresh exhale.
I know how it feels, and I know that you will make it through all of this.