Back then, we strived to be simple.
We strived to be things we knew we could never be.
To meet ugly with ugly.
Years of drug abuse left you with dentures and a pair of permanent tremors while the nail beds of my toes are empty and scarred from peeling tiny frays and picking at ingrown corners whenever I don’t know what to do with my hands.
You have no teeth to bare and I lack claws.
The fact is we are weak people who did this to ourselves.
He said, If I left her, it would be to marry you.
He said, If I left her, it would be to spend the rest of my life with you.
I said, What is wrong with that?
I said, Show me.
The goal is neutrality, to not anger at thoughts of you.
To have no thoughts at all.
But right now what I want is to never hear my friends say your name again.
What I want is to shatter every mirror that glares back all the things I allowed myself to do. I want to find that place on the map before you and get back to it.
I sob and am terrified by the desperate sounds my body is capable of making.
How could two such caring, compassionate women both love me so much?
Because we see you.
I wish I had known how to say,
You are a light—we see the way you shine.
It isn’t the moment that is unbearable; it is the anticipation of all the unbearable moments.
If these are the consequences of my actions, then, well—I haven’t quite figured out the rest of this sentence. Maybe it ends with me, the prodigal son, lame and beaten, finally understanding those who spend a lifetime learning to repent.
I believed writing would bring you back to me.
Alright, then. I will camp out here for a while.
Two things at once:
A hook called hope, and
A neon yellow sign flashing the warning,
BEWARE: ERRANT HOOKS
I am learning too late that you can’t make a home out of a borrowed man just like you can’t step into the magic of a snow globe without making yourself smaller and busting the thing to sharp bits. Still, I find myself praying for snow again.
I miss the winter, and the time that I could’ve made a call that would have saved us.
And so anger found me. I didn’t fight back.
What I forgot was that anger is not a shield—it has always been a boomerang coming back around to the throwing hand.
It is how I am left with tired defeat and the sound of me, in everything I do, still calling out to you.
So, loving is light and longing is wanting for what is not yours. Okay. That leaves the problem of wanting what is not yours. This assumes that something could ever be mine.
I am not even my own, I just happen to be the closest to the bullseye of myself. That is to say, after twenty-seven years, I have yet to hit the target.
I hope you realize like I have: things can only ever get brighter when light meets more light. By which, of course, I mean—you showed me a world I had never seen before, a world I didn’t know how to imagine. A world that, without your light, could not have been possible.
I feel mighty right now but give it time—I promise I will be weak again.