After a while, I stopped recognising your face
and simply grew more like it.
We made up movements together, not speaking,
not acknowledging how close we were.
The same facial expressions, the same expressions of love,
our handwriting too mimicked loops and
I found myself growing closer, growing comfortable.
I don't know. How can I mind what I can't stop?
you don't miss the person, you miss their presence &about five million other topics that came before.
the alcohol works its way
to her belly. with trembling
hands, she collects the phone
&curls on the couch.
her fingers pulse along the same
seven familiar numbers,
&her breath bates for the chance
of hearing his warm voice. there is nothing but
the empty ring tone. still, words slip from her tongue
and catch along the key with the pound sign.
i wanted you to know
the time we walked for ice cream
and i pushed you in the wheelchair.
remember, you pretended your legs were broken
just to see the funny looks from older ladies
when you rose from the chair
like it was nothing strange.
i remember your crazy stories and the way you always
lied. you wanted to burn away your fingertips to find
a new identity, and i always worried so much for you
when you said winter was a season
i thought maybe then our tangled webs would enclose us
like a tiny cocoon
but destiny walked, instead,
to the vending machine
for a diet coke.
you always said
you had better things to do
than spend time with me
while we ate pancakes at the dollar buffet.
we sat on your couch
eating cupcakes i had baked--my attempt to
into the cold of your crumbling apricot heart,
and you asked, with a sly grin, what time it was that i was leaving.
but i'll never forget the warmth from your sleeve
pressed into my arm
or the glow of your smile and bright chocolate eyes
at the one thing i ever said that was funny.
you were always the orange-pink of a sunset,
the aching beat of my heart when you were too afraid to hold me.
every time i left you, i always wept
but i was glad for the tears,
glad to feel anything for you.
my heart aches for you--
for being fourteen and struck with love--
but with you, i was always blue.
&i just wanted to tell you
that maybe i won't always dream
the scent of your house--that maybe you won't always
be the first--that maybe i will forget the ice cream flavor (moose tracks),
the days i visited you (always wednesday and sunday),
&the person that you were--
but i will never forget
the way you made me feel
every second that i knew you.
"You don't miss the person, you miss their presence," she whispered to me, such a secret, such a window to her life. She held the knife up close, red on ivory, and I didn't understand, I didn't understand at all.
Another life passed, another lesson I tried to learn but I couldn't comprehend.
Then, he happened. He came, he changed everything, he changed my family, my friends, he changed everything there was about me. And then, as suddenly as he appeared, he walked out, and again I didn't understand.
I knew who I was with him, but I knew I was nothing without him.
Reminiscing on the tears, with a knife in my hand, the world stopped. The knife fell, the wounds healed, and finally, I understood.
You don't miss the person, you miss their presence. And when the tension mounts, it nearly makes veins pulse and arteries burst and thoughts collide into fractals I drew on pieces of paper underneath notes to her. She said the designs were pretty because it was (to her) some kind of immense and time consuming art to decorate the words. But the words themselves could have been cuneiform for all their fashion, becasue she wants colours without shapes and I want shapes without colours, and neither of us have given a second thought to texture. Really, that there are whole properties of our whole not even considered does make for sobering thinking, alone or in groups. But we're not to the point of sobering thought, because we're still drunk with everything we planned in merry days of wine in new glasses that clinked with each toast to life and good health. This is what's called closeness. Now we toast in silence for a hopeful restoration of everything that wasn't nearly enough before. And we both know we won't miss each other when this all falls apart, because we're miles apart now and it feels just as close, so long as I can just... barely... touch her hand. And it goes on like this.
Construct & comment, if you please.
You don't miss the person, you miss their presence.
You know full well when you're at the end of something amazing. You don't even need to be told that it's over — though, it is polite to be told — it just is over. It's obvious. The sky is screaming it at you; the bay is wailing the news to you; the green, glowy stars are singing it to you; the wind is whispering it to you; and, above all, it is being spoken to you by the person whom you've spent the time with. Not in plain, simplistic words stating exactly the emotion, but you know exactly what they're saying to you.
One of the last days I spent near you, you were mentioning your homesickness, and how you missed your family. When I said that the only things I missed were my kitties — three, beautiful, furry, sweet, cuddly kitties! — and my bed, you told me that I was lying. You told me that I missed my family. My retort was on the fact that my euphoria really does overpower that feeling, you told me that I'd only like to think I was that happy. I wanted to slap you.
The truth of the matter is I have never had any time to miss someone. The times in which I could've spent in mourning, and consequent missing, I was not cognizant of my duty to mourn and miss. I waited instead, and I continue to wait. The only times I have ever missed somebody was when I was cognizant of the fact that I would never speak to, nor see, again — or, at least, for a very, very, very long time. When I was walking out of the airport on July 13th, I wanted to throw my arms around you and tell you that I would miss you. Instead, I knew you would've shoved my words down my throat and given me even less closure. All that is now is, "He's gone."