You’re a person, I think

I look at photos of us often. Unabashedly, I don’t try to stop myself. I think it makes me happy, looking at us, holding each other, smiling in the sun, on top of mountains, surrounded by green.

It reminds me of your face and body. That you’re a person with a beard, and you exist. That you’re not just some concept, a thing everyone in my life is nervously watching me for signs for, expecting me to mourn.

You’re a person, I think. I think you’re real. Every so often I get lucky, and I catch a glimpse of you inside a photo. Your voice or laughter or mind or gait peaks through, and I remember who you are, at the other side of an emptied, blank text thread. Something swings out of my gut, reaching out to the sadness, trying to connect and place itself. 

happy · sad

It’s a beautiful day

I’m happy you dumped me while the trees are flowering. I endure this sad time as the earth constantly begs me to smile. This line of fuscisa trees is so beautiful; I don’t remember there being so many flowering trees; you’d love it here. The sunshine brings out all the couples, walking where I run, holding hands.


He only posts on Snapchat when he’s lonely

He only posts on Snapchat when he’s lonely. When he’s trying to entertain himself, stay busy, find meaning, find a connection: a beautiful flower worth sharing, a baked food that filled three hours of Sunday, a bird in the park: craving a little more, a little more connection, filling time, but not filled out, searching for meaning, flipping the page in the calendar I gave him to reveal a new pic, he only posts on Snapchat when he’s lonely. 

happy · sad

A release

Somebody asks me a question about you. I savor the opportunity to discuss your will and wants and plans. They clearly don’t know we’re no longer together; I no longer represent you. It feels so good to let out all this knowledge I have, wasting inside. My internal dialogue still debates with you, still plans everything I want to tell you, how I want to frame it, cherry picking the details you’ll find most interesting. All the scripts rot in my mind. 



“I don’t know who you’re with these days, might be with someone new

And if you are, I hope he treats you like a lover ought to do.

But whoever makes you happy, it don’t really matter who

I’ve got a new lover now, I hope you’ve got a lover too.”

Your favorite songs fill my home as I try to make my lonely home sound more like your home that felt like my home, too. My friends tell me that I’m allowed to follow you through your online music collection, that that’s the problem they had when they broke up, too, that you’re a good person to follow for music, so I’m allowed to follow your music. I try to make my home sound like your home, so I can feel at home, and I wonder if you have a lover, and I imagine you wish a new lover upon me, but I can’t wish you have a lover, too.

“I hope you’ve got a lover, too,” the speaker repeats: it sounds like you’re singing directly to me.

It reminds me of the silly time I called you my lover because I didn’t yet have my license to use the word I wanted to use. We’d spent the last three months planning how we could open up our lives to spend time together, and we were just beginning to really date. I was exclusively with you; you were exclusively with me.

I had a group invitation to address; I didn’t know what to call you; I knew what I wasn’t allowed to call you. I said, “Hello friends and lover!” because you were indisputably my lover, and everyone laughed, some uncomfortably.

Fifteen months later, your younger brother asked you for a recommendation for a restaurant to celebrate his anniversary. When I asked you if we had an anniversary, you said, “I remember a particular occasion, being called ‘lover,’ so I know that the date is past July.” You were my lover then, but you weren’t just my lover then to me.

I don’t want another lover.


Always dreaming

After all these hard days, I’m pretty sure one day it’ll be over, I’ll get to run into your broad arms. You’ll hold me; you’ll smell good. None of this will matter.

I know I’m supposed to stop believing that. At my core, it’s a feeling I can’t shake.

You are so steady, so consistent; you tip toed out of my life so politely like the mornings you’d quietly grab your gym clothes in the dark to get dressed in the hall as I slept for another hour. I expect you to come back home, return to bed, shower fresh with a kiss. First, I’d feel your beard brush against me, still a little damp. At your insistence, I’d pry my eyes open, welcomed to the day by the vision of your cute face, basked in some daylight. You’d fill my field of vision before my worries could load. I felt glamorous.

This morning, I waited, but my cheek went untouched. By the time it was time to pry my eyes open, cheek-touched or not, I knew I didn’t want my eyes to use their open state to see, to see what wasn’t there. What isn’t there. 

I wake up. It feels like living in a hotel room. “I want to go home,” I think. Home to the place where I never have to worry.

I go to sleep, always dreaming. And I wake up, in the place where I went to sleep, always dreaming. Still alone. Unmoved, but I feel as far from you as ever.