I know you’re sad, I feel it too. As if the galaxy left us with nothing but the moon. The only constellations I can remember were in his eyes, when he looked at me. But I try not to remember, sometimes his pupils tried to tell me he was addicted, I ignored it. Let me tell you, love, he’s not it. He is not the galaxy when suns burn in your irises. His bones aren’t as fragile as yours; they don’t have words carved into them like the tree in your backyard. Don’t carve them there love, they don’t belong. His hands only made you recoil after that January, you thought he was a furnace but honey your forgetting how he burned you alive. Don’t you remember in August when you kept cutting your hair, trying to get rid of yourself?
Your mother didn’t raise you for this; she baked homemade bread to warm the house with love. She also cooked you up in her stomach for months, darling, you held tight to her pinky and I don’t remember her ever letting go.
I know you’re sad, I know its cold and brittle and January makes your spine quiver. I lay in bed too at 2pm, shutting the blinds because I want to delete the world too sometimes. Letting go is a funny thing, you see when I let go, my mom knew I was ready to walk out into the world. Those first steps were brilliant, relief from fear, headlights to freedom.
My dad taught me how to ride my bike without training wheels. He held on to the back seat and I screamed, “Daddy don’t let go!” It was a hoax really, because we all know he was going to. But he told me he wouldn’t. I went squealing down the track in triumph, like the world was under my feet and I was right on top. The bones on my bike broke, and the skin of my mouth cracked; we both smiled. That was the first time a man ever lied to me.
I feel it too. Holes in my skin, holes in my sweater; I’m avoiding it. Stitching it back up would disprove my denial; I don’t want patches or Band-Aids because they don’t hold. We fall down, we open scabs and the holes rip open again. I looked back at him, before I fell; I looked back. He drove away and I looked back, because instead of scabbing my knee, there was a hole tearing into the skin of my heart.
I know it’s sad, I know you cried each night he was gone. But darling leave the scissors there; your mother loves your golden brown hair. She’s the one who sends you care packages on the weekends, because she feels it too, when you’re sad. Her skin itches and breaks because mothers know, they just know. She bakes bread on Wednesdays when she misses you, tucking the warmth into her house, your house. Dad eats it at night so he can fill his house with warmth and Mom wraps in it tinfoil so when it comes in the mail, you can feel its warmth too.
I know you’re sad, I feel it too. There’s an imprint in the mattress from where he used to lay down and fill up your eyes with stars. Love, he’s not the sand man; I know you stay there too long, on the mattress; your tea gets cold while you’re still trying to trace his lips on your mouth. You won’t find him there, just the remnants of cracked lips and the warmth will be gone.
Don’t worry though, mom will keep making bread and sending you her love through the oven. You burned through her belly and she always knew the galaxy was there, on the soles of your feet. Don’t stop running darling, keep moving forward, stamp every place with the stars on your toes.
I promise when he comes along, he’ll tell you about the stars. Orion’s belt and Saturn’s rings. I promise your tea will always be warm and he’ll help you understand the words on your spine. He’ll like your mother’s bread almost as much as you do and you can lay in the bed of his truck instead of on the mattress while the warmth fills your bellies. Dad told me the sky goes on forever, I think he was right.