And after all this time, you will swear you loved her. But you didn’t. Not really. Love doesn’t feel like rolling deserts and trays full of ash. Love doesn’t break the concrete of this city into fractures- love doesn’t bruise and etch goodbye letters on her skin. Love doest dig fingernails into us, and love doesn’t taste like blood.
Love doesn’t furl empty smoke into night sky until it blots out the stars. Love doesn’t leave her sobbing on her empty bedsheets and love does not feel like wild fury in the middle of the dusk. Love isn’t half promises and broken truths that form kaleidoscopic tragedies in the red streets of her large, aching city. Love doesn’t make us ask twice. Love isn’t dirty tiles and tear stains on the bathroom sink.
Still, after all this time, you will swear you loved her. But you didn’t. Not really. And after all, it doesn’t truly matter anyway. Because no matter the price of your love, or the way you held the memory of her that you couldn’t shake- she loved herself. Thank goodness she did. Because she made it out stronger than she began. With or without you.
— a.p. (9.27.16)