The minutes have melted into months but the breath from my open mouth still fogs the screen and stickies the keyboard. It hurts.
And I know you’re busy and you’re busy and you’re busy and your shoes sink into tequila soaked carpet when you aren’t crunching plastic cups beneath the soles I bought for you and your fingers are scrambling to remember the scratch of her lace against your skin because what color were they what color were they what color were they? And I know you sleep with your face smothered beneath three layers of quilts so the fragments of light don’t wake up the constant throb in the back of your head but I can’t stop I can’t stop I can’t stop the ache in my jaw like I swallowed something much bigger than the coin you pressed into my cold palm with your warm one not because you owed me but because it meant something it meant something.
It’s been two weeks since you’ve marked a message Read and it’s been six months since we all said goodbye in the dingy lighting and aging flooring of the train station whose name I could never pronounce choking back waterfalls and swallowing hiccups because there were people there were people there were people. You cried after I left.
Three videos will never leave my hard drive no matter how much my heart rots in your absence. One love you from a newfound friend who was the first I could mark with intimacy and not vomit guilt up afterwards. She was the first and last I ever admitted it to and god I miss the way she’d tilt her head back and laugh even when the words bubbling out of my mouth lacked sentience and humor. Another from a refuge found in a sea of empty vessels. I always crushed our shared butts beneath the toe of my moth-eaten shoe and he always kept quiet about the way I couldn’t help but wet the end of the cigarette every time I passed it back. He smoked menthols; I said he had no taste. A final from a soul which will always harbor a fraction of mine. His shirts smelled like cinnamon and my hair smelled like strawberries and I still picture his back against my cheek when sleep lulls me. What do his clothes reek of now?
We all share two tongues but she wakes up in a puddle of skylight drenched in cotton sheets and he sleeps when the music trickles to a hum under a queen sized quilt on a twin sized bed that creaks with every exhale and reeks of sixth grade perfume while I pry open drunken lids swimming in a sea of one one one three suffocating blankets that mimic the weight of another’s existence because she’s here he’s there and I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone.
We haven’t talked or touched and I haven’t felt the scratch of his beard against my cheek or swallowed the smell of her perfume or swapped cancer between my index and middle and you’re okay she’s okay he’s okay we’re okay we’re okay we’re okay. But he doesn’t steal slugs of my coke anymore and it sits and fizzes flat. And I don’t share lipstick in shades I don’t even like just to mimic her glow. We’re not gone but we’re not together not together not together.
None of us like goodbyes but we swear that I love you and I love you and I love you.
See you guys later.
— the worst thing about friendships is there’s never a formal goodbye