Oasis

oasis

Two sunsets was all it took for you to realize the truth,
that our jagged pieces only ever fit together
when our heads are swimming in wine,
and our hearts pounding beneath flesh and linen.

Like rippling heat on the road ahead,
you beckon for me,
and I’d race to you,
but all I find is more distance.

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No. Not this time.

beach

I purged my archives of you the other day.

I was half expecting, that if I saw your face again, even through a screen,
that my chest would twinge at the acidity of what was lost –
at the corrosive memory of what was stolen from us.
But I gazed upon your photographs and felt nothing.

I remember the first time I had my heart broken.
How it left me empty, crippled and cold for years.
The first cut was always the deepest,
but I healed and walked on, beautifully sewn.

You sliced through me in new places,
Ripped through cells and flesh that trusted you.
Did I collapse in a gory heap? Yes.
Did I bleed out? No. Not this time.

My body knew exactly what to do when even your shadow had gone.
I no longer needed a hundred sunrises to pick up the pieces.
I’ve filled my lungs and fists with love and kindness,
til all I have is a hunger to save others from the cruelty you’ve shown me.

Searching in the Wrong Place

Lórien Sequera on Flickr

Lórien Sequera on Flickr

The ocean stirs itself to send tides to kiss the shore,
the way I lay awake in bed past midnight, mind racing,
and pulsing with the memory of you.

Perhaps if I think of how you used to bury your lips in my neck,
wherever you are now, you’d feel them tingle with longing.
You’ll touch them to the back of her hand and wince at the newness of it.

How strange it feels to claw at unfamiliar skin, expecting to find old comfort.
And as she collapses, chest heaving on top of you, you’ll wrap your arms around her and will yourself to feel.

You told her you’d make love to her, but as you lay there, tears rushing to your eyes, you realize you lied. It was as gentle and thrilling as it was exquisite,
but it was also taken all too soon.

Rest, my broken love. Catch your breath and lick the scabs you’ve pulled apart. Whoever said it would be that easy? Whoever told you, you were ready?

Passion comes quick, but love comes slow. Perhaps by the time we’ve finished counting the lashes on the sleeping soul laying next to us, we’ll know:

If this is love or just for show,
If they can stay, and we can finally let go.

Filling In The Cracks

Βασίλης Τσαρνάς on Flickr

Βασίλης Τσαρνάς on FlickrWith liquor in her veins and a storm in her heart, she traced his lips with the tip of her finger and felt relief. Here is a man who does not flinch and pull away at her touch. He wants her, and her unwilling mouth, and the painful secrets it held back.

Eyes closed and rough hands on flushed skin, he wrapped his mouth around hers. The cracks in her resolve shuddered and swelled as his desire ran through them, breathing finite life into her parched soul. She filled her aching hands with his dark hair and sighed.

I am not yours, and you are not him, she thought.
But tonight, we can pretend.

When All That’s Left Are Beautiful Memories

lanuiop on Flickr

lanuiop on Flickr

When you begin to question why you let go, latch on to the real reason you were hurting in the first place.

Well, how can you when, for some unfair reason, your heart has suddenly been purged of all the bad to hold on to? Isn’t it a wonder, how we find it so easy to see all of a person’s scratches, dents and cracks while they still lay in your arms, but can no longer find it in ourselves to remember anything but their beauty once they’ve gone?

How can you remember how much you disliked holding his sweaty hands when all you’re left grasping at every morning when you wake up are the cold sheets on the side of the bed where he used to feel safe enough to dream?

How can you bring yourself to latch on to the sound of contempt in his voice, when all your mind managed to remember so vividly is his absent-minded, wrong-lyric’d singing while he fixes his hair the way he knows you like it in the bathroom mirror?

How do you convince yourself you had enough of the bickering, when you lived for pointless would you rathers and what would you do ifs as he sipped his morning coffee and stretched the weight of sleep off his spine?

How do you wrap your mind around selfishness and neglect, when he’d take so much care to add just the right amount of cream and sugar in your coffee because he knows and accepts all of you?

We don’t remember the fights, nor the grand gestures of love. Bouquets and moonlit dinners are beautiful, but they will never be as precious as the lost look on his face when he’d crane his neck trying to find little you in a crowd. Harsh words and accusations hurt, but they will never be as painful as running your hand down his tired back that night he came to you for refuge from his life.

Treasure the weary soul that has found a home in you. Hold them tightly, memorize the light and shadow in their eyes and the delicate curve of their lips. Know where the lines form on the corners of theirs eyes when you make them laugh, and where the pained furrow goes on their brow when they are burdened.

Wrap them in love and acceptance, and nothing else. If there is anything to be learned from loss, it is the immeasurable value of life’s often-neglected details.

It Was For The Best, But I Still Feel Like Crap

laurencephilomene on Flickr

laurencephilomene on Flickr

We’re all always a lot stronger than we manage to convince ourselves to be. If you made a decision that you believed was for the best, despite all the uncertainty and pain, have faith in what your heart told you to do and let time slowly unravel the good from it. Decisions are what you make of them, and you have a choice to either commit to growth down a new path, or shake your resolve for a beaten one.

Why Loud Cars Make Goodbyes Worse

Nick on Flickr

Nick on Flickr

It was nearly 6 o’clock in the morning when I took my first step away from the man I love, and heard him gently close the front gate, as though he were trying to spare me from the sound of it. As though the muffled sound of metal on metal would feel more painful than the goodbye we whispered to each other just moments before.

I held my hands in fists as I fought the aching want to turn and see him, debating with myself if I’d rather remember the image of him standing a distance away, face streaked with the salt from his sad eyes, staring desolately at me and my broken pieces; or if a fleeting image of this man getting into his car and driving away would be easier to keep.

Standing dazed and heavy under the staircase leading up to my bedroom, I listened to the rough sound of his car revving to life. That car always made a racket. I couldn’t sit in that car and talk to him without having to raise my voice over the sound of the engine. I realized at that moment that I had a few seconds to rush out the door, stop him and take it all back. “Stay, please,” I’d say. “Let’s try one more time, please.” But I stood rooted on the spot as the walls shuddered with the sound of his car pulling away.

I turned to the window, saw a flash of orange, and felt the heavy growth of distance between us. My breath caught in my throat and I held on to the stair railing to steady myself. I climbed, weary for rest. Weary for mercy from this terrible ache.

As I came closer to my bedroom, I held on to the sound of his car, growing fainter and fainter by the second. I sat in bed, eyes shut tight to will myself to still listen to the distinct whisper of him driving up the steep hill nearby. I listened, and listened to that damned noisy car, until I heard no more.

I opened my eyes and stared blankly, hunched over and unmoving. The silence was deafening.