I wrote “The wind rises! We must try to live." on your skin
The night we thought was going to be our last
Before you left to finish what was important
Before I knew you’d come back to me
When you stayed, I cried.
I cried because I remembered how difficult it was
For me to see anyone off
How I’ve deliberately avoided going to airports, train stations, and even doorsteps all my life
trying to save myself from falling apart
at the thought of continuing to live without the shard of my heart
that stayed lodged in those people’s bodies
I realized how intensely painful it was
to be an adult, and hold my breath
taking novocain straight to my chest.
I cried because I loved you with all my heart
and that night, I feared you’d taken it whole,
eaten it up
and I’d be left for dead if you left.
After days of being together,
we grew used to sharing the sunlight
like little saplings that grew too close together
blissfully unaware of how
one of us was bound to shrivel
one of us would have to die.
Every night I watched your mouth form meaningless words
Drip into my mind like honey: viscous, warm.
They seeped through my broken body
and held me together at my loneliest —
little did I know that the moment we parted
the pieces of my body would begin to fall again,
broken strings hanging, crooked gears failing.
We were so deeply entwined in each other’s primal need
for touch, for warm breaths on our skin,
We co-existed in a wordless poem.
Never has knowing been so excruciating
Awareness never hurt so much
I opened my eyes and looked over my shoulder
and saw how frighteningly similar my path looked
to my mother’s with my dad.
You pressed hard on my bleeding wounds
Without ever asking
if they were from bullets
or knives dragged over my skin
until they stopped gushing, slowed to a leak
And then you turned away,
leaving me bound and gagged at the edge of the cliff — just like my mum is.
I’ve watched my mother teach herself to always leak
bleed so very quietly, she can barely hear herself bleed anymore.
There’s a terrible puddle of blood and tears collecting around my mother’s feet now.
I was frantic, tried telling you
like we were stuck in a car in reverse
steadily sending us into the lake, into oblivion
But you couldn’t hear me over your addiction
You were addicted to the drug that was “us”:
You pleaded shamelessly for “us”,
cried about not being able to survive without “us”,
craving the rush, the ephemeral comfort you got
And I cried with you,
because I knew I was too.
We were ghosts already,
Weeping over our own cold bodies.