i see you in smoke rafters the beams, the cigarette butts falling between the grates
i see you in the stillness of candles, the slow burn, the flickering of desire
i see you in music and every time i pick up my dusty guitar the ashes fall off and you linger in the shine
i see you standing there.
i see our breakdown, i hear you say “you just told me you didn’t love me” i hear the break in your voice
i feel it die in my chest
you sit hunched over in that familiar position with your boots on, staring at the floor
i see flowers i see ashes i see the light that once was, the sun how it shone when i heard your voice
i see you in street corners. alleyways. the fleeting glance of a stranger rushing by
i see gray. the dull pain, the end.
We’re laughing in our bedroom, arms and legs tangled around each other. I don’t know where I end and where you begin. It’s bright and warm, there’s food in the kitchen and music plays from the laptop we have hooked up to the speakers next to the heater. We’re dancing in the hallway the way we always do, right next to the open bathroom door – you look at me and my heart feels full. If happiness is anything, this is it and this is the most I’ve ever felt. You laugh and pull me close and your smell brings me to where I know I belong.
Suddenly you fade from view. The lights turn out and I am standing alone in the dark crying.
She walked away from me on a Sunday morning and the pain lay on my chest like a ton of bricks.
“I love you,” I had said. I heard the birds in the trees. “I love you.” She didn’t respond. “I love you…why won’t you say it back?” I start to cry. She stares ahead. I can’t find the one I loved.
She sleeps in the other room, away from me. I lie awake, drowning.
Someone gently taps me. I look up. She looks different but she looks like the one I loved. She smiles at me and my heart melts with warmth.
The Memory: I’m sorry I hurt you. I just don’t know how else to deal with the pain. I love you, so much. I hope you know that.
Me: You do?
The Memory: Yes, always. You will always be mine.
Me: Do you remember all the things we did and the places we went, and how much I loved you?
The Memory: Yes, and I’ll treasure those moments forever. I remember everything. I love you, so much. Don’t ever forget that.
Me: I love you too.
I fall asleep.