They’re sitting at the edge of the bed. Slender and pale as their cigarette, sometimes black hair, sometimes green, sometimes shades defying both gender and infinity. They haunt me with the scents of comfort and tobacco, white ghosts so alike I suspect doppelgangers. Sometimes I feel them sit beside me, tousling my hair as I try to sleep, trying to pass it off for the fan. But I know. I know.
i ‘m always hiding
under each word
is my plea
i went through my bags today
shuffling through clothing and books and
until i found the shirt i wore when
you took me to see your family for
the first time.
i washed it immediately but i
still can’t quite get the
scent of you off of it.
it feels like your lips
like the bone-peak of your hips against
mine and i can’t
i need more bleach.
she is the ghost of seroquel
insects and pills will bind her well
she’ll wink and drag you into hell
she’s so lovely, she's so swell
than write about
It will burn less.”
you wear despair like a necklace
that’s on too tight &
it’s choking you &
it’s dragging you down but goddamn you wear it well
Stupid. Trembling twiggy junkie arms, pale and pockmarked and razor kissed, sewn back together; haphazard scarecrow arms, hollow eyes, dry tongue.
1. The first time we slept together, the butterflies inside my stomach evolved into a swarm of bees trying to sting every internal organ, but quieted into a flock of bats hanging upside down from the ledge of my heart once you touched my hand. The next morning they woke up dizzy and disoriented; you said you could hear them moving about inside my ribcage, but at least the butterflies were gone.
2. I told you, “Neither of us can save the other but we can still plant flower seeds inside the grooves of one another’s wrists to remind ourselves not to open up the soil of our lifelines too early.” The next day, the garden was filled with twice as many chrysanthemums as before.
3. You loved me like an arsonist who burns down their childhood home just to watch the ugly memories crumple into ash. I was your one and only good memory, and you were mine.
4. Inside every apartment we stayed in together there are two names scratched into the windowsill. They were never ours, just the work of some strangers who lived there before us, but we always held out hope that maybe one day we’d find some place to call our own.
5. Every time you fell asleep after sex, I traced the tree rings of your lifelines sunken into each palm and pretended they were maps leading to some buried treasure. I only found out later that the treasure was you. I wish I had treated you like gold every single day instead of dirty carbon.
6. You once said, “The first time I saw you, you walked like a question I wanted to do everything in my power to answer until I got it right.”
7. We never did find the right answer together.
8. There are scars lodged inside both hemispheres of my brain that have been tattooed there since we met. Unlike most scars, they were good ones. Each one was my favorite color, and they didn’t hurt getting inked in. But now every time I pass the tattoo parlor, my cerebral cortex screams at me to get them removed since they remind me too much of you.
9. I loved you like bone-breaking: it hurt at first, but the recovery period was even sweeter.
10. We tried to take photographs of one another’s favorite body parts before we realized that would involve getting under the skin.
11. You told me you wanted to buy me a bouquet of sunrises for Christmas, but couldn’t find one that matched the exact shade of my eyes. I told you it’s the thought that counts, so you spent the last six months of our relationship lassoing one in every morning.
12. I whispered “Everything” into your ear fifty-three times before we went to sleep every night so your dreams would echo the words we never had the courage to say to one another.
13. You loved me like that old tale of the tree falling in the forest without anyone else around and whether it made a sound: every time you looked at me when we were alone, you questioned whether anyone else would be able to see what we felt for one another.
14. I should have appreciated you while I still had the chance.
15. My mother said being in a relationship with you was too much of a risk, so I started skydiving to prove her wrong.
16. In bed two weeks before everything ended, you murmured “I’m sorry” into my spine so you could apologize for the way your absence would eventually cripple me.
17. Even your shadow made me want to get drunk- I was jealous of the way it followed you and was always able to touch the soles of your feet, so I downed a shot every time it crossed the floorboards.
18. We couldn’t afford Hawaii or Italy, so we vacationed inside one another’s bodies. I planted palm trees along your vertebrae and swam in the shallows of your hipbones. You twirled me like spaghetti til we both fell to the floor, exhausted. Every day I discovered a new part of you I’d never seen before.
19. You loved me like you’d never find anyone else.
20. Everything was perfect until I started to love you while wishing you were someone else.