You get to the point in “loneliness” where you can almost imagine her arms around you. If you lay as still as you can in bed and think as hard as possible, you can almost conjure her lips on yours. Your dreams are so vivid that you wake with the smell of her hair around you and you can almost imagine the space in your bed is a little warmer.
I wrote you a poem
Said the clouds to the sky.
And it read like a rainy August afternoon.
I wrote you a sonnet
Said the stars to the moon.
And it looked like a meteor shower on a clear night.
I wrote you a haiku
Said the mountains to the valley
And it flowed like a river running north.
I wrote you a song
Said the ocean to the shore.
And it sounded like a thundering chorus.
I wrote you a poem.
And you only heard silence.
I miss you like all the clichés.
I shouldn’t identify with a peanut butter sandwich without jelly
or like a cat looking at a cup of cream on the counter.
But I do.
I want to push you off the edge and taste the sweetness.
I want you like the desert wants rain
and when you rain, you pour.
The cactus in my window has never been such a relatable friend,
but I would pick out all the spikes in my skin to feel your cool touch.
And when you’re not near I feel so empty,
like an e.e. cummings poem has been punched from my chest.
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
until I’ve read all the lines and the hole is just as big.
I want to pick petals off flowers so I’m sure that
you love me you love me not you love me
so much that I could be the roses
sprinkled from a flower girl’s clutched palm.
As our fingers finally thread together again,
my whole arm tingles like a phantom limb being reattached
at the strings of my heart that I didn’t know you held.
But you do.
You have reins on my body
like a queen over a kingdom of jacks and spades
painting the shrubbery red.
And I want to be the ace in your back pocket,
ready to tenderly slip me into your hold
and let the poker face fall to the table for the night.
I want to be your cliché.
I never should have told you my secrets.
Not that I don’t trust you,
but now you have those pieces of me
and I have no chance of walking away whole.
And I never considered what holding you meant.
That I would get addicted,
not just to your body, but to the way you held me back,
like you didn’t want to let go.
I definitely shouldn’t have cried for you.
And it isn’t because I regret it,
just that I forgot to feel for myself.
I can’t survive by filling my heart with your pain.
I never should have fallen in love with you.
I’m in love with your kiss
Though I’ve never felt it’s touch.
I taste your words on my tongue
As I read them from screens
And my senses want to get drunk
On the bitterness washing you down.
When I’m wasted with laughing
I’ll run my fingers through your hair
Spilt on the couch from clumsy hands,
Dripping down my neck like sticky tears.
We’ll dance on times tables
Calculating the distance between us
Until I have the courage to divide you.
And if I’m hungover by morning
It will be the moon hanging over us
Waiting for a kiss.
I am that place right before the road forks. Not between, just before. I’m the silence before a yes or no, not a maybe.
You were mine for a while. We had endless summer days on beaches of smooth glass while you read Bradbury and refused to swim. I slept in but it was okay because you bought me coffee and wrote Latin on my skin to bind us in the most ancient of ways. And I spent the afternoons watching you slide your knife down the length of an apple, avoiding delicate skin on your arms for the sake of friendship, and family, and finally being yourself. As much as I wanted to arrange your limbs in sleep to keep safe on my couch, forever my object of beauty and peace, you would not be tamed. Summer ended and I didn’t get to keep you.
It is often believed that the people who understand you best are those that you can talk to. I suppose that is true to a certain extent, but talking is easy. We think conversations are hard because people do not know the right thing to say or say the wrong thing. You are thinking about it all wrong. Talking is easy. We do it all the time; we do it to avoid silence. It is not the words of a conversation that worry us, but the silence they fill. Talking is easy because the alternative is stilted pauses and tense breaks. Those are the parts of a conversation we all dread the most, and we would rather talk about things that don’t matter than be faced with the heaviness of words that go unspoken.
The best people are those that understand my silence. Some days, the words are too heavy and my tongue can’t lift them. The silence stretches around me like a wall and most people are scared and confused. But those precious few who understand me best know that the silence is every bit as much of a part of me as the words. They know the silence will end when I am ready, and they will be patiently waiting with nothing but love.
When I was little, I thought about my future a lot. Like most kids, I imagined the perfect love and the perfect job and the perfect life. And I wanted it with all my heart. I knew how I would live and I was excited for it to begin.
I have not experienced earth shattering love. I do not have an amazing job – in fact, it involves quite a lot of photocopying. I certainly have not sailed through life with tons of friends, good fashion sense, or straight A’s. What I do have is anxiety. I have more curves than I would like. I have frizzy hair and no impulse control. Perhaps ten years ago I would have been devastated.
But, you know what? I also have a large collection of books. I have a family that would conquer the world for me. I have some pretty cool tattoos and good quality rum in the pantry. I’ve watched waves crash against a Greek beach at midnight and held hands with a beautiful woman.
It is not revolutionary that life has not turned out how I planned. I make no claim to some world-changing revelation about such discoveries. I am not the first person who has learned lessons about the way plans and desires change. That does not make it any less life-changing for me.
I do not know what the next ten years will hold, or the ten after that. It might not be what I plan, it might not make sense. And it doesn’t have to. But I do know this: it’s going to be a fucking amazing ride.
My theory buys me my favorite coffee order, and it makes the whole day brighter. When there’s a bad time, my theory sits outside and talks about life, shapes it into something I can handle again, even when being eaten alive my mosquitos. My theory texts me from right across the table, because some things are better shared as secrets. I watch movies with my theory, even when we can’t be together. We share a screen and a story and for a moment we are together again. My theory sends me used books, little pieces of her soul scribed on the title page, mingling new words with old.
My theory gives me reasons to wake up in the morning and feelings to stir my numb heart and ideas to cherish.
My theory is kindness. Faith. Love.