We traded our hearts in between the ridges of the pages of a book. Our hands were on fire where they were connected to each other as we exchanged our burning hearts. And when we placed them in each others chest, the fire spread down to our toes in a hazy rush. Afterwards, we could hear our hearts beating through the flesh to the same rhythm as their counterparts. And so, with our eyes closed and ears wide open, we took turns getting lost in the steady thrum of our hearts.
A few kisses and I swallowed your soul and let it flow through my veins. For a moment we were one and the same, but then I let it out from the tips of my fingers. And it drifted through the air - beautiful and broken - touching skin and bones; igniting them from within. And the imprints of your touch shone like little suns, escaping from the surface and lighting everything all around, and suddenly, the world was a beacon of light, and it was wonderful and at that moment, I didn’t mind being alive.
You watched, as one after the other, the stars died; their actual light fading from them as an artificial one took their place. You don’t tell them (me) that their lights were sacrificed to grant the wishes of the greedy and desperate. You didn’t say that that’s how you kill a star. You didn’t speak of the sadness you felt as your brothers and sisters disappeared one after the other - it makes my heart ache for the loneliness embedded in your soul - until only you remained; a single flame within this cold, dark world. You smiled - countless tales of melancholy warping the edges of your lips - and told me that you’ll grant me any wish I desire and I grinned - mouth full of pleasure and teeth sharpened with bliss - because I had a secret you didn’t know. I tilt my head up and kiss you and make my wish.
You are a fire that I harbor within my bones. Your presence is strongest in the stark white of my rib cage which envelopes your heart in my chest. Sometimes, I still feel your soul in my bloodstream - little specks like dust motes flying to your own rhythm. When I cut myself - paper cuts frequent my fingers - the blood that flows out glitters like sunspots and I know that it is you that I see. They call me crazy when I tell them that there are stars in the sky; they don’t believe in what they can’t see, you see. Sometimes, it makes me cry because I see you - I’ve always seen you, I will always see you - and they can’t. It makes me almost believe that they are right. Almost. But I miss you. And I’ve felt you - loved you - too clearly - too dearly - to think you an illusion. I feel your heart beat in my chest everyday and I reaffirm your existence with every thump that drums out. I am alive. You are alive.
I find Neverland in your eyes. We are surrounded by all that is gone, dead. There is no light here except yours; I do not need any light that is not yours. We remain unchanged and undisturbed while encompassed in the nothing for centuries and I don’t find that disconcerting at all. Sometimes, I think I even prefer this to before - before we got here, before when you existed within me and not beside me. Your brothers and sisters are here with us but their lights are still out. But we can feel their presence as easily as they can feel ours. Here, you are happy without abandon. Your light twinkles and titters like a mellowed out version of fireworks. You remind me of a child. I love you like this. I think I will love you whichever, however, whenever. I want to stay here forever even though I know that cannot be. But I do not fret, because I know that when I wake again, I will wake alone, without any knowledge of your existence, but knowing that I will always find Neverland in your eyes. And somehow, that’s enough.
I kid myself by thinking if I saw you I could continue breathing; you’ll always be my first love, even if we were never together and even though you knew little about it. I will always love you and always be in love with you and I need to face the fact that when I do fall in love again, I’m going to look for you in that person; at least the version of you I’ve created in my heart.
MJG // I don’t know if this is a step forward or a step backward.