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Heather Butler Feb 2018
another sleepless night my red
eyes tired and tried
i let your words fall
over my body like ashes

dust to dust i have buried
the bodies of those i have
loved and carried their dirt
under my fingernails back home

three thousand moths will settle in
the brickwork because the light
was on we hold our hands

against the ceiling as we drive beneath
a train a superstition when you laugh
i see the shape
of your skull behind
your skin
Heather Butler Jul 2014
I am an empty thing
hollowed out by time
devoid of your love

I am pulling you out by the roots
grabbing fistfuls of memories
burning away the dead flesh
cauterizing my broken skin

I will exterminate the spiders
making webs of all that you said

I will not be convinced again
not even by the phantom of you
that stayed when you left
Heather Butler Jun 2014
There is a part of me that hopes
your insides ache with the last words I said to you

Regret is a powerful poison
I can't hope to control

But there is nothing left inside of me
That holds a memory of your touch
I have long since forgotten
Even which of your teeth are crooked

And you cannot bring me back
Not with thousand word pictures
Not even a post it note

I am long gone
And you can have your leash
Heather Butler Oct 2013
This will be enough, this time
where the steps summoned storm fronts
like cat-calls
and half-assed apologies into the 3am

This will prove the endlessness
of loneliness--
these the toads of your toes
as the tips of your tiny timid feet

But I will tell you not to breathe
the heavy shouldered burden burned into your back
because you are more than empty
mason jars and grocery

And you will not breathe,
you will not breathe--
you will think only of breathing
but you will not breathe in
Heather Butler Sep 2013
"I love you"
should be a little more difficult to say.

There should be advanced language classes
revolving around complex sentence structure,
advanced clauses and arrangement,
complicated syntax,
so that
"I love you"
means more than loving anything else.

Ich liebe dich.

Te amo.

Je t'aime.

I love you.

Saying "I'm sorry" in German
is more difficult
than "I love you."

Why is it that in order to apologize for something,
I first have to learn about reflexive pronouns,
and reflexive verbs,
and that the same word for "the"
can also stand alone as the subject of the sentence?

Das tut mir Leid
is more grammatically complicated
than Ich liebe dich.

And yet one wonders why love
seems to have become so clichéd.
Heather Butler Aug 2013
I'm sorry I couldn't be your everything.

I'm sorry I couldn't be everything
you needed.

But I can't be everybody's everything because
there would be nothing left

for me.
Heather Butler Jul 2013
He loves me for who I am, but so do you.
He makes me smile and laugh, but so do you.
He makes me feel safe and warm and chases all the nightmares away,
but so did you,
when you had the chance.

He’s got his problems, and so do you.
And when I left they got worse,
but so would his,
if I left…

And every night I stare at the spots on my ceiling
as I lie awake,
contemplating what the difference really is,

if I’m really happier now,
or if I just like to tell myself so.
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