I watch you crumple into yourself with your shoulders square and your head held high,
I don’t need you to collapse to see you break,
I can see it in your eyes.
I promise you that it will get better.
But first it must get a whole lot worse. You fall apart an hour later,
Broken chunks of your façade fall to the floor in a hotel bathroom,
Shattered pieces of your smile are ground into the concrete outside.
Mascara stains litter your cheeks and your entire being is riddled with holes that he used to fill,
But I promise you don’t need him to live.
He was the laughter on your lips and the air in your lungs,
The smile on your face and the pacemaker in your heart,
You beseech the empty night for a reason but there is only the sound of your sobs.
I promise you, you’re better off without him.
You had to learn the hard way that love isn’t always final,
That love is raw and love is beautiful and love is strange and sometimes love is empty and then love is gone and all that’s left behind is tear tracks and stained tissues.
You say you don’t understand and I cannot help you,
I can only promise you that you do not deserve this.
You find another empty soul,
A warm body,
A pair of hands to cup your hipbones.
You’ve known him for half an hour and he says “come alone”.
You fix your makeup,
Shave your legs,
Change out of the clothes you wore when he broke you.
I promise you that I will keep you safe.
I hide behind a wall and watch him kiss you.
I wonder if he knows what happened to you tonight,
Wonder if he can taste the salt on your lips,
Wonder if he gives a damn.
You stay out and kiss him until your mouths bruise,
Then you disappear from the spill of brightness from the street lights.
I promise you will regret this.
Five minutes past curfew and you want to be alone,
You slide between the sheets and say goodnight.
You do not want to talk.
You do not want me here.
I can see your shoulders shaking
I can hear your cries through the walls,
I promise you will make it through tonight without him (and a thousand more.)
I wake up to find you shaking on the floor.
Wails erupt from your lips and sobs wrack your body.
Your fists beat the carpet and you say you don’t understand, that you really loved him, that you miss him, that you’re sorry,
And all I can do is hold you.
I promise this will not be the end of times.
I promise you I will love you more than any boy could.
I promise one day this will not hurt anymore,
But today is not that day and I cannot bring myself to spit out
Another empty promise.