[A prose poem.]
I see you’ve got the ropes.
Somehow you adapted. There, your green tea; you filled your thermos last night, preemptively. Your fingers have always been awkward too. You treat your hands as if they were chubby. And they hold the thermos with strength, like they hold everything-- except for your papers and your keyboard. You hold those differently.
Remember the balcony? You had too much wine, obviously. Your rolling on the floor from one end to the other turned legendary. But time rolls by, and so do tobacco leaves on papers, and you hate those two things.
Listen, I’m not the same. I’m sorry. I now have posters on the walls of my room. And I still pick pieces off my lip, but I wear chapstick too. And I’ve started to drink coffee again, with sugar. I’ve made peace with mirrors. And I’ve also started to learn some french, Je m’excuse.
What page number were we in? I’ve known you through some invincible years, but I’m starting to see the fray.
You forgot to take the balcony along. You’ve got the hang of your schedule, where and how to tunnel your way to class; you get up as soon as our alarm goes off. No snooze. You sit down and vaguely remember the journals you wasted your soul in; all the conversations tinted with beer were drowned by fear, and fear by coping, and your coping is scaring me. The ropes are gripped tightly by your fingers, and I might know why.
And I’m already mourning; I don’t need any more black clothes, any more sad entries. Know that I still love you-- that’s still the same. But, here, I am this. It hurts to know that is not okay, that at the bottom of our wine bottles there’ll be resentments, but I still love you all the same. I’d rather taste your rancour than bittersweet memories, wondering how I’d give you tulips, if you really want to be cremated.
Maybe we’re tying knots on the veins of a good life– and what for?– the classic problem is, perhaps we’re still ‘too young.’ We lost the children we used to be, but we’re in that grey area between losing and finding something to find.
And I’m already missing you. And maybe there’s no point in begging, but,
I see you’ve got the ropes and I’m terrified.
stay with me.
This is a combination of two poems I wrote before ("Noose" + "How to tell someone you've changed.")