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May 2020
I miss the trip we took.

We didn’t mind feeling lost while we drove
through the forest, and we sang aloud
the entire way until we arrived at the
site. We pitched the tent, and then spent
the afternoon eating s’mores smothered
in whipped cream, sharing ghost
stories, and watching the lake’s current
come in and out. And when it came time
to hide away, we huddled into my red
sleeping bag, chatting about whatever
came to mind. That’s what I miss the most,
laying with you, discovering how your
mind moves. Or how mentioning we
smelled like s’mores made you go from
a giggle into a hearty laugh.

Then a lengthy gaze turned to a yearning
silence. I miss you running your warm palm
down my chest. Flesh on flesh became our
flesh, breath on breath became our breath.
By the time you fell asleep you had engulfed
me into your small, dying flame, and
embraced me into the furthest depths you
would ever let anyone reach. I remember
wishing it would never end.

But I also remember lying there, still awake,
my body almost shaking from all that was
surging through my nerves and veins,
feeling more nervous than satisfied. And
soon, once the weeks of bliss had gone by,
you realized I was letting you down. You
didn’t seem distraught, or rejected;
you were disappointed.

Now, I will not chastise myself for having
old wounds still healing. I will not be
ashamed for still having armor, for having
to try to surrender, for regarding the body
and heart of the person you fell for with
disgust. But I don’t want to indulge in my
progress or lack thereof, because for you
it’s true, I let you down. You saw me
covered, and you saw me ****, but you
never saw me naked, exposed, vulnerable
and raw. I wouldn’t let you.

And I’m certain for you it was like expecting
a call that won’t come. And when the phone
finally rings you are not there to answer.
You gave up long ago. And I’m still
not even willing to call.
Alek Mielnikow
Written by
Alek Mielnikow
292
   Ms Anjaan
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