happy · sad

One day

I’ll be happy one day, with someone who’s not you

I’ll be happy that day, without wishing it was you

I won’t know it that day, when a drop of sadness hits you

But know that once I was sad I would be happy one day with someone who’s not you.


The end

Sitting on the airport toilet, it occurred to me that the duty free Godiva display could count towards my remaining meal budget.

Next to the Godiva table, I discovered a Sees chocolate display, the spot where you must have bought them for me. It’s a good thing you made me open the box to try some that Sunday before you left because after you left, for the last time, that Thursday, I threw them away with everything else.

I find myself following in your footsteps, three months later, tracing your path through the Jet Blue terminal in San Francisco where you, wrapping up a week of contemplation, must have thought to yourself, “I guess I can expense a final gift for Melissa, something sweet before I end it all.”

I guess it’s really not that coincidental that I find myself following in your footsteps. You did solidify my loyalty for the airline; you did conjure extra intrigue with the city; you did make me want this job so badly, so I’d have an acceptable excuse to text you, a memo like: “Hey, if I’m moving across the country, do you want to know?” You’d be surprised: maybe you’d expected me to move a few hours down the coast but nothing this drastic. You’d be jolted, filled with a moment of nostalgic sadness, but you’d take a deep breath and suggest a final coffee before I leave. At the coffee, maybe you’d suggest we do it again if I’m ever in town again. And that’d be it for us.


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

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.