Higher than ever before,
I lay on your bathroom floor,
pondering what it was that led me here.

You had looked at me as if
you were seeing someone no one else saw,
and you uttered those four words
four bullets in my chest
four skipped beats of my heart
What do you want?

The words had broken the silence.
And I knew you were still looking at me
in that way that made my ribcage want to cave in.
Every syllable had cocked the trigger of a loaded gun
and I wanted to look the barrel in the eyes
and beg you to shoot.

My intestines were playing tug-of-war,
with those four words
you created infinite possibilities,
all dependent on my answer.
I knew I wanted to be wanted but
I only thought I wanted you to want me.

I was just a kid, pretending that I knew
all the right things to say and the right things to do.
I was just a kid, never been kissed,
save for the smoke lingering on my lips.

I was just a kid, playing at the edge of adulthood
with too much makeup and too tight clothes.
I was just a kid, acting as if I was in control
when everything you did sent me spiraling out of it.

I was just a kid, drowning above water,
in the smoke that swallowed us both
swirling around your room like currents in an ocean.
Every breath was my inhale of your exhale:
the ultimate intimacy.

Two dumb kids, we sat there together
talking like we had something to talk about
when we’d never had a taste of real life.
But my words had caught in my throat,
trapped by the part of you that reached inside me
and left me sputtering.

I was just a kid, just a girl,
but to me you weren’t just a boy,
you were somehow older and wiser
and my tongue tied words and spineless stature
were childish compared to your confident manner.

I wasn’t good enough
and you were no good at all.

All I want is to forget you
forget how you made made my hair stand on end,
forget your hands on my waist and in my hair,
forget the rumble of your voice and the softness of words
you never quite seemed to mean.
I want to forget all the ways you made my skin crawl,
all the times you seemed to tower over me
and I shrank in the darkness of your shadow.

I want to step out into the light and rebuild my backbone.
I want to speak without tongue tied words.
I want an end to the expanse of unknown.
I want relief from the weight of you inside my chest.
I want to finally be able to let go of your secondhand smoke.

- Secondhand Smoke s.m.p.