every goodbye is an open door.
So sometimes it doesn’t work out. Sometimes the girl goes back home, to her sob story mother and her too-small bedroom. Sometimes the boy with the good heart breaks you into more pieces than anyone else because it’s really the ones with the drinking problems that know enough about getting hurt to be gentle. Sometimes the one who said they’d never leave hops a plane or hitch-hikes five states north of you. Sometimes you are the problem. Sometimes you are the one putting people’s bodies out like cigarettes. Did you know that if you put a lit match into your mouth, the oxygen stifles the flame? What that means is we have the power to put out fires. What that means is we are all capable of magnificent things. On our own. Sometimes your mother still talks to your ex and you hear their secret phone-calls and listen for your name like a prayer that isn’t answered. Sometimes he’ll come home too late and you will make him sleep on the couch only to miss him in bed next to you. Sometimes the girls aren’t honest. Sometimes they mistake convenience for love. Sometimes they’re with you because it’s easy. And they leave when it gets too hard. Sometimes there’ll be someone else involved and you will spend every day of your life comparing yourself to anyone who has their high forehead or their slack little mouth. Sometimes they’ll apologize. They will write you sorry letters and you will wallpaper the insides of your head with them. Sometimes he changes his number, but you still leave voicemails on the old one when you’re having a bad day. Sometimes the girl moves on too quickly. Sometimes she tries to come back, and you let her, only to watch her leave again. Sometimes this happens more than once to just one person. Sometimes it happens again and again, so much so that they start to associate love with leaving. Sometimes that’s exactly what love is. Sometimes leaving is better than tip-toeing around each other. Sometimes leaving is the best thing to do. And the kindest. And the bravest. Sometimes love is more effort than anything is worth. Sometimes it’s a lost cause. Sometimes it’s not what we were looking for. Sometimes it’s not what we need. Sometimes it doesn’t work out because sometimes it’s not supposed to. And that is okay.
to set the record straight.
I don’t want to have this conversation.
There are stones in my mouth. There are
so many stones in my mouth I could walk
into a river and drown from the weight.
I tried to warn you. I am constantly trying
to warn everyone about the dangers of
loving me. I am a weak girl with bones
like crushed up daisies. I love you.
I love you not. And I go about loving you,
not loving you, so peacefully, as if it is
no more than a change of weather for me,
as if your heart is a fiddly thing to keep
my fingers occupied. I tell you all
from the very beginning that I am not
(I repeat: I am not) beautiful. Selfish girls
should never be accused of that quality.
Girls so bored they’ll kiss you just to
pass the time shouldn’t hear you say
such things. I have a list as long as my
forearm of things I will admit to being.
Greedy, yes. Impulsive, yes.
Possessive, shallow, empty, yes,
but never (not ever) beautiful.
Beautiful girls don’t do ugly things.
Or at least, they don’t admit to them.
i wonder if you ever think about me. i wonder if you remember things about me. i wonder if you see things and they remind you of me. i wonder if you even care anymore. i wonder if you still think of me every day like you said you used to. i wonder if you regret what happened. i wonder if you’re happy with her. i wonder if you wish she was me. i wonder if you would care if i died. i wonder if you talk about me. i wonder if you’re alright. i wonder if you ever finished that degree you were working on. i wonder if you changed your major. i wonder if your family is doing okay. i wonder if you still smoke the same brand of cigarettes. i wonder if you’re letting your hair grow out. i wonder if you have new scars. i wonder what you did on valentines day, spring break, last weekend. i wonder if you’re asleep. i wonder if you’re home. i wonder what you would do if i called. i wonder what you would do if i came over. i wonder if it would make a difference. i wonder if you would let me in.