blown out flame

I love you in a way that lingers,
like a candle blown out,
the flame tries to spark every now and then–
desperate for a grasp on air and on me,

I try in every aspect
To break free.

I flutter against my heart–
Be still, be still,
Don’t fall apart;
I linger and swallow my words that feel shallow
And burnt
And bitter
Against my broken tongue–

I hold myself large against you and small to myself,
I try to be anything better than what I am–
this world still spins in a collection of memories,
and as asteroids I am hit every time;

I love you in a battlefield,
I fight and cry and bleed and see who I am under your gaze,
And I hope to come out better, brighter the next day.

—  as I am, a.c.