I’ve been thinking of the small patch at your temple
Just in front of your ear, with the fine white hairs exposed.
If words are all I have left, they’ve drifted into clichés that don’t equate to what I feel
So I’ll try again.
I’ve been thinking of your expression as you looked into the fire,
Your helplessness guarded by the collar of that shirt.
And I’ve been thinking of the way you grasped at me, snatching under my clothes
When I left the first time.
And how I walked away without word or caress
The second time.
How I willed this intimacy to drift into abstraction.
So I’ve been thinking of an anchor to stop me floating away
Weighing food, myself, empty hours,
Muscular repetitions keeping cycles.
Yet I can’t stop listening to your favourite songs when I have time to wander.
I don’t know if I’ve earned them, but they feel like mine too.
Part of me has floated away into your world -
Though I’m trying to stay safe in mine.
So I touch without feeling
And I leave without caring.
I’m losing that softness I held for so long,
The softness I abhorred for so many years,
A softness I’m killing with self-loathing.
And I think of these words sung so sweetly by a ghost:
“It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate,
It takes strength to be gentle and kind”
A bullet into whatever I have left inside that’s still tender, not yet monstrous,
And I know I’m not dead without you yet.
I can’t **** my pain without killing my joy,
I’m alive, calloused and bruised