I. He Will Refuse To Find a Way Up
A fifth hole in the wall this week opens and I crawl inside it while your knuckles are still freshly bleeding. I will find myself grasping at straws to justify your rage. You reflect it back onto me, an uneasy mirror that makes me want to tear open my own cathartic hands and find what made me so angry so long ago. I shake my head. I have loved you. I have helped you grow. I have been the soil you have stretched roots in and the fields of lavender you have scorched. I let myself let you go before I crawl into another drywall void.
II. She Will Not Be What You Remember
I can hear the echo of my voice reverberate where I thought your heart was. Your soft hair that ran through my fingers smells like burning hair. Oh, these things cannot be taken back, I know, I know. I will watch you turn to sand in the hourglass on my nightstand, next to rose petals, bottle caps, and other sentimentally valued found objects. You will trickle to the bottom grain by grain and be unstuck. It will mean nothing. I will watch it as time passes and try to break it no more.
III. You Will Have to Let him Go
We did it, like I promised: we laid with the cold to our backs, faces to the empty-not-empty sky, and let the snow cover our mistakes, dissipating our frail bodies into a million tiny oblivions. You fell apart, your ashes blown across several states, thousands of miles. I caught your dust between my teeth and when I flicked it off my tongue, it spelled poems and threats and manifestos in languages I could never understand. You're dragged by your heels into the hospital, cursing my name as my heart breaks. I'm sorry, my baby, my little brother, I'm sorry to the child I tried to raise like my own. Schizophrenia is a hard word to learn in every language, and understand in yours. I did not want to lose you. But sometimes, you weigh your sins, and the heaviest of all is the one that's easiest to utter into the world.
IV: How It Will Go
I've wanted to talk to you for a while.
> I know.
So, I can't tell if I've missed you or not.
What I mean is, how do we know this is right?
> It is. We're no good for each other.
We're new people, well- maybe not new, but much different. I don't know if me now will like you now, but me now is longing for you then.
> You're not making any sense.
I know. I just want to say I'm sorry. I don't even know how to begin to say it.
Some part of me still loves you. She is biting her tongue because she doesn't want your name to roll oh so comfortably off of it ever again.
I'm sorry. I don't want to make this complicated again. I don't know why I'm doing this. I'm stupid I'm-
> Just shut up, okay?
That night, I will claw into my throat and release the shrieks of grief snowpacked in it. I will congratulate myself on allowing the sun to set on the most golden thing I've ever been given the chance to hold.
My lungs will still take in air and send it back into the sky for you to return to me. It won't be the same. It won't be comforting. It'll sting and needle at my soft insides, sending all the words you ever spoke to me into my blood in tangles until it clogs my veins and makes its way to my brain. I will be left with half my face permanently lopsided, stuck in a frown, while trying to remember what did it in the first place.
V: Ideally, as if In a Dream*
The sun is dripping down your hair. It steams in golden runnels down your forehead and it casts a halo in your eyes, sainting you.
I am blessing all the uneaten meals, broken skin, and chewed up fingernails. I will bless how I raised hell and then settled it back into the dirt so I could bring down heaven for you and I, and it's warm, bright caress. The sweet, sticky clouds- they smell like marshmallow and clean laundry and kisses on the forehead.
I will be able again to think of your thin hands as being prom-queen-gown-silk swaddling blue jay bones: fragile and masculine and hollow and splintered all in one. I will run my fingers over your knuckles- as soft and as familiar as my baby blankets.
You will breathe in deeply, and I will too, just for the sake of doing it together.
I will say, "I've been waiting for this."
And you will say, "For what?"
And I will say, "this," just looking around.
This isn't one of my best, but it's an exorcism.