The Me I Turned Out to Be

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Photo Credit: travelbandit.com

I keep trying to be myself
but I always end up
being someone else
or something else.
The dirt gives way
and I’m am a tumble
of slips
and gasps
and reaches.
My toes slip through
the frigid air
and I’m caught between
you and now
and it’s a mystery
that finds only
mismatched puzzle pieces
instead of easy answers.
Who is this me
that exists without you
and who was that girl
who you loved
in that microsecond of us?
I wonder if I’m made
from these moving boxes
and dingy white walls
or if leaving is what made me.
So much leaving
that I must be stitched
from beautiful moments
and sad ones
and pieces of shattered ones
that disappear
like snowflakes on the sea.
Or perhaps I’m what you made me–
strong and simple and yours.
I’m a lock with a key
that I don’t even have
because I’m such a tangle
of strings being pulled with the tides
that I look in the mirror
and see strange eyes
and I hear a voice
that belongs to
an older version of me
who wonders
what she’s doing here
in this place
when she belongs
on another coast
in the hands
of a different man
who knows her like
no other could.
Identity used to be
so much clearer,
crystalline images
of past, present, and future
distilled into being
but age has brought only clouds
to obscure the clarity.
I’m not those boxes
or walls
or the sea shells
we gathered on sepia beaches.
I’m not young and fragile
or old and strong.
I’m not yours
or his
or even mine.
Except that I’m
all of these things,
all parts of this perfect disaster,
this whirling wind of me.

Written in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge–Digging for Roots

Bridges

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Photo Credit: earthporm.com

Bridges connect us
from here to there,
hold the capacity
to bring imaginings into reality,
to bring one to another.
I see us walking across
that weathered bridge
and stepping out
onto the white sands
of the past.
One bridge
we crossed
to find each other
and yet another
will bring us back together
when oceans recede
and moons turn red.
I will see you there,
feet halfway across,
arms stretched in reaching,
and I will be there,
halfway across,
arms stretched out in reaching
for times we can’t get back,
for moments not yet spent.

Torment and Boats

It would be really fucking nice to go one day, just one day without the presence of your absence to torment me, to walk all over my heart and mind because I’m tired of catching my breath when reminders sneak up on my unsuspecting feelings of what life might be like without you haunting me. I need another conversation because that one wasn’t enough to satiate my need for closure or continuance or whatever the fuck I need to make the ache of losing you subside and what’s worse is that you feel the same but we are two broken people floundering around in the middle of an ocean with nothing to hold onto except each other, life rafts made of skin and bone and pain, boats of hope we can never quite reach. I miss you so damn much.

Breathless

Always off guard,
so sudden
that it steals
my breath
in quick gulps,
swift gasps
of racing in mid sentence
where the light is green
and the tires screech
leaving thick
black gashes
on the ground
and the oxygen
dissipates
at light speed
or whatever is faster
because I heard
your voice
in my head
in between commercials
and I realized
how your name
is your identity
which is why
I could never change mine
and the air is missing
like I miss you
so I press these keys
because I can’t get you
to fill the room
with your breath.

I’ll Remember You

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Photo Credit: danverspublicschools.org

I’ll remember you
when I close my eyes,
but times have changed
and now I’m not the one anymore
and we are nothing but
pictures of you and me
wrapped in a goodbye song.
I try to have patience,
to wait for the next time
I fall in love

with someone like you,
but it’s yet to happen
like it happened with you
and my bones ache with the waiting.
They say no love is the same
which is why I continue
to take digital baths
in your virtual world
instead of living in my real one.
I remember when we were
young and wild and free
and sailing on the waves
of your hands in mine,
but the skies have turned black
and the songs no longer sing.
The soundtrack has been
thrown off kilter
and I can’t see
through the November rain.
I keep hoping
that this is all for a reason,
that you will wake up
and finally say something
instead of nothing.
So I will wait for the day
you turn your head
to the rearview mirror
and see me standing
in a cloud of longing
built for no one but you.

***

Our Soundtrack

I’ll Remember You, Skid Row
Patience, Guns N Roses
Digital Bath, Deftones
Black, Pearl Jam
November Rain, Guns N Roses
Sail, Awolnation
Mirror, Lil Wayne
Young and Wild and Free, Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg
Pictures of You, The Cure
If I Ever Fall in Love, Shai
Someone Like You, Adele
Say Something, Great Big World
For a Reason, Zhane
I Will Wait, Mumford and Sons
Goodbye Song, Elizaveta

Written in response to the Daily Prompt–Cue the Violins.

Playlist

I have these songs
I listen to
that remind me of you.
A giant play list of songs
that you would never listen to.
And songs I only know
because you listen to them.
All these slow jams
filled with people
who miss other people
which is funny
since you say
it’s better to stay apart
instead of giving in
to the missing.
My radio
is filled
with broken heart cuts
and all I do is listen.

Oxygen and Dreams

Imprisoned
behind these watery bars,
I beg and plead
for release.
Icy iron
grows hot
under my clenched fingers
and I’m drowning
in this cell
of concrete and rust
and photos laced
with your scent.
So stuck,
so sated
by this breathless race
towards a heart
that’s faded and past,
that I suffocate
on the images
of smiling faces
and laughing mouths
because
there is no oxygen
in a memory,
no air in a dream
so of course
I’m gasping and coughing
and wondering
where all the reality
has slipped to.
I’m so there
that I don’t think here
fully exists anymore.
Like what would
your face be now
when all I see
is the you
you used to be
holding hands
with the me
that disappeared
when we disappeared?

Still

Shells and sand
and steel drum bands
playing lilting melodies
that float out
over the ocean waves
in soft crescendos.
Before sunset,
beer drinkers
and music listeners
sway to the beats
of bass guitars
and sing along
to classic rock
coming from
the fingers and souls
of mediocre cover bands
but that’s okay
because in this
half bright room,
under these
palm frond eaves,
I can feel the warmth
of your hand in mine.
And this night
seems to last forever
and we walk
on Atlantic sand
under east coast stars
and I can feel the heat
of your love.
But that’s only
a memory
of when I had
less wrinkles and rolls
and regrets
cutting deep lines
in my heart.
You wouldn’t recognize me now
or love me for the girl
I used to be.
I’m pieces
and so are you
but I can still see you sway
as you walked towards me,
still feel the fire
you used to burn.

No Words

Inside of me,
burning inside of me,
I feel you in dreams,
in waking,
you on my skin,
in my hands,
you reaching out
and fingers so close
but apart,
distant,
unknown
and confusion bubbling up
into hot tears
that spring
from loss
and absence
and moments
of remembering you
loving me
instead of denying
that you love me.
Suffocating in pillowcases
filled with salt
created by nightmares
where we are one,
nightmares
because they aren’t true
or real
or possible
because we are apart,
distant,
inseparable
in this separation.

***

Why don’t these words ever capture the agony, the unending ache sitting on my chest? I write but it’s useless. No set of syllables will ever be the right ones to show you how much I miss you.