exhalation.

in the last part of the day
as the sun burns itself out on the horizon
there is a strange silence
a peace amid the chaos
the wind swirls the leaves
into rattling whirlpools
each gust a sigh
an exhalation of resignation:
i can move past this
past all that was never real.
i don’t want to leave this place
i still see the ghosts
of what could have been
drifting over the sand
composed of the bones
of fragile creatures
delicate as a wrist
they shatter under the weight of reality.
i am ruled by the pull of this strange
animal heart
but i am so tired.
the ache has not faded
as it should.

i don’t know what to do.

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nothing scares me.

i see you in every gaze i meet
but you are nowhere
i hear your voice
in all the words you’ll never say.
it aches.
your absence is a tangible thing.

and you leave
like i knew you would
and i choose to believe the lie
because you’ve asked me to
and it never seems to matter
what i want
when i find joy
so i won’t ask anything of you.

please stay.
please.

i want something
larger than myself.
something that scares me
because nothing scares me anymore.

i want to hear all the words
you’ve promised not to say
because the truths that hurt
are better than
this silence.

i hate this goddamn silence.

anesthetize me.

anesthetize me
don’t breathe life into me
before you hold me under.
the surface breaks the light into
a thousand shimmering suns
that will dim as i fade—
briefly beautiful
extraordinarily cold.

in another life, you said.
too bad we’ve only got this one.

disappointment.

i don’t want to be this person.
she is conflicted
and paralyzed
by the weight of history.
her mistakes bloom upon her skin:
bruises surface
and the abrasions sting.
i’m so fucking tired
of being everyone and no one.
your quiet accusations rub me raw
as if i don’t know the truth
it’s not fair
(life’s not, i know)
to be this alive
and yet already buried.
this girl is not the girl
i thought i’d be
but she is who i am.
a disappointment.

declination.

at the moment of departure
caught between truth and desire
my atrophied heart beats
and i want to stay. i want to feel.
but of course i leave
i don’t stay where i don’t belong.
the abrupt declination
surprises no one but me
even as i had kept the end in mind
from the beginning.
all the joy
will be forgotten
in such a brief time.
it will be as if i had never existed
someday you will not be able to recall my name
or see my face in your mind.
which is to be expected.
i was the only one who needed the heat
to feel alive
needed the words to feel less alone
needed the lie to remember what truth felt like.

apathy.

it will be easier next time. at least
there’s that. i am never the one
that sticks. i slide off.
i wash off like watercolor
your mistake.
everyone’s mistake.
there will be one, or two,
who will be worth it
and it will be easier
and i will be forgotten:
yesterday’s headline.
broken glass.
i knew
this was coming
i knew
i was a mirror
and nothing more.
nothing hurts—
not really—
i’ll be fine. i’m always fine.

just give me a moment
to slide back into apathy.

eternity.

i find myself alone
unsurprisingly.
i just want to walk away
from this
letting it all burn behind me.
there’s no joy
to be found between the first
oblivion and the last,
you know.
hope sours in the light of day
and connection turns to isolation
in an instant.
all the time wasted—
the search for meaning
the search for purpose—
it comes up empty in the face of reality.
we are nothing in the face of eternity
and there is nothing to face in eternity.

say my name.

say my name
a fervent prayer to stone gods
and empty temples
there’s nothing here
that can assuage the emptiness.
but the heat enslaves.
as i mimic life in this broken landscape
your words echo
across the wasteland
indistinct and limned with fear
i can taste it
even at this distance.
i’ve been there,
where you are,
hollowed out and ravenous
surprised by joy
in the depths of complacency.
i am drowning
silently going under
numb and empty
i’ve gone dark.
i want nothing but the eternal present
i want nothing but this moment
bright with possibility
bereft of hope
someday we’ll leave this place
and not look back.
until then
be mine.

you were always the problem.

that response—
the one you had to
that deeply personal admission,
made accidentally—
it’s not normal.
humans don’t react that way
to the hurt
of those they care for.
unless they don’t care.
but that assumption
in itself is unsupportable
considering how humans connect
to the hurt of those
they’ve never met.
perhaps you hate me.
it would be an explanation
confusing yet plausible—
probable even—
i’ve done nothing to merit
this unmitigated disgust
or your boorish lack of courtesy
but frankly,
i lack the energy to care.
i don’t deserve the bitterness you’ve
directed at me or
your callous disregard for my kindness.
you are strange
you are cruel.
you’re a liar.
you were always the problem.

my mistake was coming back
each time you tore me down.