I have never been anyone’s first choice. Not once in my life has someone ever looked at me and immediately wanted me. I am only ever someone’s choice when they can’t get what they want. That kind of thing guts you until you are hollow.
She blew her smoke like hair falling through water. It billowed out of her like a moth flapping its wings for the first time after a long cocooning, effortless with a small hesitant pause at the beginning, to test its strength. she was a lion then, a king lion, roaring white clouds of satisfaction through her nostrils and into her fragile yet resilient lungs. She fell silent after her debut performance of an inhale/exhale regimen that could satisfy a lord.
‘We should take a break’, she said.
But I was too busy analyzing the irregularities in her breath to know what to say back, so I said,
'My you look like a broken down car puffing out all that smoke’.
After he was gone, I didn’t write for four months. I couldn’t remember how to spell anything except for his name. I replayed that park bench conversation every day, and I could never bring myself to go back. I cried for three days straight, hoping he might wake to the sounds of the ocean. I kept shivering like my muscles remembered those cold nights but couldn’t remember the heat of his arms.
That night when we decided we could handle looking in each other’s eyes again, my hands shook for the whole drive over. Over the span of four years, I saw him in his glasses exactly twice, but there he sat across from me with thick-framed brown glasses. He still wore his class ring, and I still remembered how the metal felt against my skin. Our words settled into a place that felt more like a dream than a memory.
Sometimes I convince myself that I am no longer in love, because I don’t want to admit that I still find his fingerprints on my veins. I feel him like forest fires in my bones, and I’m so fucking sick of burning, but I’ve forgotten how to be anything but ash. I have woken up in tears too many times from dreams where the only thing I remember is his laugh. I stifle my sobs so no one notices I still love the one person I shouldn’t.
The idea of him with someone else feels like knives between each and every rib, and I know how hypocritical that is. I have tried on someone else’s affection, but it never fits the way his did. I tried to write him another poem to explain it all but the only words I could find said “he likes me because I am beautiful; you loved me when I wasn’t. He uses the words ‘I don’t love you’ as a threat because he follows them up with ‘yet.’” How loudly do I need to scream the words “I’m sorry” until I feel I am worth forgiving? I still don’t remember how to live in a world where I am not his.
Coffee still smells like his hands. Winter still feels like his arms. That song still sounds like his laugh. He is everywhere and nowhere, the worst combination of wholeness and breaking. I haven’t touched him in nine months, haven’t seen him in two, but if you listen closely enough you can still hear my heart shatter. Touch my fingers, they feel like wanting. Here is my ribcage, it looks like crumbling. I am drowning in a sea of missing him, and my lungs aren’t sure they even want to come up for air. There’s a reason I don’t get drunk and it looks an awful lot like his eyes. I don’t cry over his smile anymore but my mascara is still somehow always smeared. I collect too many bookmarks because I am still saving his place. There is one word used eleven times too many in this poem.
I love him.
he went on a date with someone who wasn’t me /// k.b.
It seems that no matter what, everyone seems to fuck you over. They stab you in the back, then stab you in the heart. They rip it out of your chest then tear it to shreds right in front of you. I’m tired of being fucking screwed over by people I trust.
I don’t know what to feel anymore. Days are blurring into weeks, and weeks into months, and I can’t remember a single moment from them. I have become an emotionless robot, just going through the motions.
On her side of the moon the sun dances in her hair.
You’d be a fool not to notice the way her eyelashes flutter when the wind kisses her cheeks.
But you’re no fool. You notice.
On my side of the moon the sun stays hidden behind the mass of gray that follows me as if it can sense my loneliness.
“Things don’t have to be this way,” I can almost hear it whisper.
These clouds don’t compare to your company, but beggars can’t be choosers they say.
On her side of the moon you’re there, dancing in the shower of her beautiful promise.
Oh darling, she has no idea how lucky she is
because on her side of the moon you’re there,
light years, eons, galaxies away from me.
It’s raining on my side of the moon. I wish you were here to kiss me in it.