etched upon a whiteboard- a lament question,
"Does all suffering hold purpose?"
The bubble wrap you were so fascinated with as a child had a human counterpart. Its name was Caitlin, but she prefers to go by Katy, in hopes of seeming more friendly on paper.
You found this oddity and were immediately taken by it. Eager fingers collapsed the first bubble. From it came a noise so abrasive, you were scared to pop another.
There are freckles on my hands that you failed to notice and scars on my knees you picked at with jagged fingernails,
never asking for a story.
I found your mother's name in pieces underneath your bed while mine was tattooed clearly across my chest.
You attribute your silence to solidarity in independence whereas I argue you are a shell of a man
i wanted to fill you with all the daisies and honey i had left.
You "Can't Do This Anymore",
a white flag riddled in hopelessness,
I could do this for the rest of my life.
There's muddy footprints outlining the path you took away from me,
I'll place my small step in each one as I follow you slowly,
and perhaps you'll wait for me at the end.
If my mood is directly correlated to the weather,
and you are a man made in the likeness of a long winter,
how did we ever plan for this to unfold neatly?
As the sun comes back to me,
you retreat to the corner of my closet,
tucked behind downy coats and borrowed sweaters.
Sorry about last week
That wasn't meant for you
Tar escapes from between my teeth and lands at unsuspecting feet
It's a slow drip, you understand?
That wasn't meant for you,
It just took so long to come out-
you happened to be there
Passing a car wreck on the turnpike-
You're the wreck and I am doubling the speed limit to his house
A note was sent:
"Wait on the corner of Sumac and Freeland."
I had hoped to be intercepted,
Perhaps my tar would drown the intended instead of the incidental-
But upon receiving my note,
He placed it in his shoebox labeled "demons from the past"
He was not there waiting for me,
And so the grandest "I love you" I could muster, has stained the wrong shoes
What is contained in those years prefacing our story?
Memory is a fickle thing-
Pieces of mine have been left in storm drains and deep closets
Give me what you can-
the frayed shoelaces from fifth grade and clip on ties from homecoming dances
We can trade these like baseball cards-
the patch of woods behind my childhood home for when you learned how to ride a bike
Could you spare the day you knew your mom would leave?
You can have the time I realized silence is tangible when you want company- it rests heavy on your chest as you sit alone at the table .
I take what we've traded and tuck it between my floorboards, in the panels of my walls, in my window frame
What was contained in those years before us is safe in my woodwork as you gift it to me
And the years to come will hold pieces of me
A human brain can only go a few minutes without oxygen. Suffocation is a means of rotting. Damage catalyzed by this phenomena is quick and devastating.
As you released that breath,
The breath that held a tangle of vibrations-
Vibrations that wove through and around themselves, and each atom in this space between us-
did you wish you could catch your exhale in cupped palms, fold it with clean creases, and place it back under your tongue?
The vibrations unfurled themselves on my lap, now heavy with the weight of the posed question contained in that breath-
"do you see me?"
knee-**** under the weight of what you'd asked,
As you slept,
I collected your foolishly inquisitive breath- balled up like a receipt underneath your bed,
Ironed out the wrinkles,
And slid it into the back pocket of yesterday's jeans
I gave this breath back to you,
hoping that when I left,
you would have more than just a few minutes before they couldn't repair the damage