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Two a.m. and it hits me like a freight train -
The realisation that I'm never letting go,
You're too familiar, too engrained in brain,
My highest high and my lowest low.

In every whisper, gasp, and sigh,
You're boiling in my blood,
Far away and yet close by,
My senses drown in your flood.
My avalanche, my hurricane,
my natural disaster,
My shelter from the pelting rain,
Machine-gun pulse racing faster.

A spectre, haunting, never gone,
Your imprint ever by my side,
Knight and bishop to my pawn,
Commandment that a must abide.

And every new experience,
Every wayward thought –
Shadowed by the remembrance –
Fights what can't be fought.
Each new one I compare to yours,
Forever my default script.
A room without windows or doors,
This heartache is my crypt.

You never knew and never will,
Just how deep I buried
The memory I couldn't ****,
In my soul seared and carried.
A keepsake, invisible brand,
Bittersweet reminder
Of doomed castles in the sand,
Love poems in a tear-streaked binder.
(for S.)
Haley Protega Aug 27
The clouds over Antwerp (so far from home)
Caress the cathedral, barely brush the dome.
The sun is mild, and the wind soft,
Yet darker, boiling things come aloft.

Tendrils of remembrance, making me a liar –
I said I'd extinguish that treacherous fire.
A torch that shouldn't be, let alone be carried,
What should stay hidden, locked, and buried.
A flashback unbidden - your easy laughter -
There is no hope, not in the After.

The sky seems paper-thin, a fake screen of blue,
Threatening to peel back, revealing only you;
The cottony clouds, an illusion that will melt,
Spilling the intensity of all that I felt;
Still feel (oh god), and I can't disperse,
You are woven in the fabric of my universe.

I wonder if you're gazing, taking in the stars,
Or dark forests whose trees seem to me like bars;
A prison: I'm trapped, without being held,
My heart saw yours and decided to weld
Us together, but the alloy didn't match –
My forever, your bad batch.
Bleeding, I hold on to the damaged patch,
Too stupid to let go, too stupid to detach.

My life stands still, as chances pass through,
And all I see, all, is that they're not you.


There's fog now, heavy like lead -
I wonder if the veil seeped straight from my head;
Shrouding the world in a numb ache,
Distracting my thoughts, for sanity's sake.

And your presence pulses, a soft thrum of power,
Pitter-patter of rain, a ghost of a shower.
Just like a ghost, you're gone, but you're here,
Too far to touch, but to forget - too near.
(for S.)
Haley Protega Aug 27
I've forgotten how to breathe without you.

And now that you're not around,

I'm suffocating, or I'm about to;

Fallen, and glued to the ground.

Claustrophobic in my own skin -

It feels wrong, existing outside your space.

Wish I could destroy the vacuum within,

What went on too long, what I should replace.

Even the world-wide plague would fade,

if compared in magnitude,

To the way you cast my soul in shade;

The memories in solitude.

And my lungs feel full of flowers,

Sowed by your unknowing hand,

And my doom above me towers,

I gasp for air - I breathe in sand.

And you, unaware of your powers,

Sleep somewhere miles away,

While I watch rainy, grey showers,

And chase my breath that just won't stay.

Seems some raindrops, small and week,

From the storm have gone astray,

Wandered in, onto my cheek,

That's why it's wet (or so I say).

And I hear talk of Crown* blight,

The fear it drives in people's hearts,

While my own still pulses with your light,

Riddled with Cupid's darts.

And they had lied when they said,

All wounds would be healed by Time:

Some sorrows stay without being fed,

Only good for fuelling rhyme.

So, on half a breath I learn to live,

Just getting by to the next day,

Tired, untethered, but with plenty to give

- for I know I must follow my way.
(for S.)

* (Latin: corona, -ae, f. = crown)
Haley Protega Aug 27
The petal on the cherry tree

gently whispers: "Let it be.

Don't think back, don't reminisce."

Yet you I cannot help but miss.

It's been too long, if truth be told;

my scarlet flames should have run cold –

but they burn bright as the desert sun,

a million candles joined in one.

You're the one that got away.

Only memories decide to stay,

to remind me of your eyes,

your smile, your not-goodbyes.

Are you safe? Are you well?

That's all I wish to know;

You haunt me – an angel of hell,

a rose-arrow in Cupid's bow.

I have no right, and never did.

Still, my thoughts keep wandering,

Pandora's box without the lid,

a kingdom lost without a king.

Spare me a thought, just now and then:

flicker me to life, for old time's sake,

My butterfly un-caught, remind me of when

I dared to dream of you, wide awake.

(for S.)
Haley Protega Aug 27
What else is there left to say?

I wish there were something new;

Some novel, sweeter way,

To tell you all you know is true.

This one-sided, stupid dream

Isn't something you can mend;

I'll learn in time, to make it seem

That I'm okay, just as your friend.

I can't promise to be well,

Only that I will try

To get up from where I fell,

And do my best not to cry.

You don't deserve this burden,

The mess I dragged you in,

My battles, I am certain,

aren't yours to win.

I only hope you never learn

The extent of this pain

Despite the hell in which I burn,

I wish you only soothing rain...

(for S.)
Haley Protega Aug 27
Softly. Silently. Slowly.

You wandered into my heart.

Made a pagan learn what's holy,

shot down with a single dart.

Or was it the other way around?

You did nothing – it was I,

who roamed until I found

the realest dream, the truest lie.

I gave up the fight.

Tendrils of my affection,

uncontrolled and light,

still fly in your direction.

I close my eyes to your indifference,

but still feel it cold and harsh,

Like a castle in the distance,

Beyond a hostile, dark marsh.

I'm sorry, love, you're not to blame;

This ******* has all the fault.

You never asked to play this game,

I locked myself inside this vault.

A cage of my own making,

A trap for a fool,

Giving always, without taking,

Drowning in a shallow pool.

Truly, dear, I ask for naught,

for I have found my peace at last.

Feelings cannot be bought,

I leave my hope in the past.

And these lines put to rest,

Even when I leave this realm,

They will be my very best,

The last leaf on this tree of elm*.

(for S.)

*in Celtic mythology, the elm tree symbolises both death and creation.
Haley Protega Aug 27
Mine. Mine. Mine.
Your presence, more intoxicating than wine.
You're my running fuel, infinite power,
In a howling storm, a proud-standing tower.
A beacon of hope, a lighthouse on the shore,
Through winds and waves, I come back for more.
More of your visage, your voice, all you are,
My darling, my fate, my eternal star.
(for S.)
Haley Protega Aug 27
Seven coffee cups worth of energy,
But without the jitter,
A drug-like bliss, minus the lethargy,
Only sweetness, nothing bitter.

With their colour of black coffee,
Your eyes have me melting like toffee.

And I'm in love, I love you, I love it,
I walk the streets with a stupid smile,
Ecstatic and unable to quit
This high won't wear off for a while.

Like Christmas morning for a child
- though that comparison is old -
Overwhelming joy, limitless and wild,
Keeps me warm even in the cold.

Oh heavens, I've missed you so **** much,
I could catch fire at the lightest touch.

Am I projecting? Or is it real?
Could you feel what I feel?

That smile, that smile is my all,
Especially when I know I made you laugh,
These little things, no matter how small,
Make all my worries diminish by half.

I'm so not over you, not even one bit,
My heart is a puzzle, and you're the only fit.
I miss you, and you've only just left,
You've stolen my sleep, but I don't mind the theft.
(for S.)
Haley Protega Aug 27
"Puppy love", someone called it,
And what an apt name;
A heart too full to try to hold it:
For its escape I have no blame.

Like a bird with feathers bright,
It flew away into the night.
All my yearning, all my love,
Embodied in a graceful dove;
It seeks to find you,
Across an ocean,
Attempt to bind you
With equal devotion.
Perhaps you would;
Your teasing eyes -
Brown, soft, good,
Like lullabies.

You'd be blind
If you didn't see
How dearly kind
I speak to thee.
So I deduce
That you must know
This love is loose,
Will only grow.

Would you allow
My dove to land,
Safe for now,
In the palm of your hand?
(for S.)
Haley Protega Aug 27
My dearest demon. It's been awhile since I wrote,
And yet you dwell in my mind.
I wear my darkness like a heavy coat,
Beneath which, only you I find.
You stick to my skin, indelible like ink,
My vice, a death grip, some unbreakable link.

I'll admit, you make me weak,
Liable to make mistakes;
Bit by bit, my heart will leak,
Drop by drop, it will form lakes:
Vast expanses of free blue,
Unhindered by reality -
Filled with bright shades of you,
And my dark duality.
And in the distance: mountain peaks
- Beacons of a lying hope -
That a desperate poet seeks,
In the night, so one can cope.

And so you're here, a living ghost,
Despite the distance and time passed,
Still a wish that I miss most,
Trapped in the shadow that you cast.
(for S.)
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