and you?

been spending more time than usual

listening to the familiar,

coming home to myself,

healing the scabs instead of picking at them;

been keeping my words on lips

and lined pages,  been investing

in the power of my lungs and strength

of my heart;

been keeping my tears safe

and my mind wild,

been living the love I have yet to have

and holding on to the hope that everything that’s been

just precedes even better days.

 

first date

“Water is essential for hydration,” he said in between small sips.

I knew I liked him then.

I had never seen anyone talk about water for so long on a first date before. And even if I never got to love him after that, at least I loved him then; in that brief moment, that short circuit in the Universe on just another ordinary Friday in the Fall.

watch me own it

I’ve started to own this grief

I’m not going to let it kick me off field any longer;

I’ll bring it up on first dates, share it like

small bites of chocolate with my roommates on the couch,

drown in it as if it were a giant glass of red wine;

I’ll scream it out of me and into pillows and

bring the subject with me to dinners and various bars

across town, neatly tucked in my clutch

like my favorite lipstick.

I’m going to own this grief publicly

and you’re going to watch me

so that the next time they ask me how I’m handling things

I can look them in the eye and say

I’m handling it just fine, thanks.

 

IPA

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

I finally understand that saying now, how life can break you just to remake you- stronger, wiser, aware of the beauty in my own breath and the importance of love.

And still.

The last 365 days without you to share my accomplishments and failures with have been the hardest. I have no regrets of things left unsaid like so many others because my words always belonged to you. And the ones I kept locked away you read in my eyes. But what do I do with my words now?

I wish you were still here so I could tell you how much you changed my life, how your love gave me strength, how I finally learned to see myself with your eyes. But the only thing left to do now is remember, celebrate the years of life you had by drinking your favorite IPA. And it all still doesn’t make any sense. You were once a lover but forever my best friend. You challenged me to be better but loved me at my worst, and among all of the things I still don’t understand are your unwavering faith in me and neverending love. You were my soulmate and I was yours, no matter what, we decided. You made me angry, you disappointed me at times, and you were awful with directions and going to bed instead of falling asleep on the couch. And yet. The mornings when you brought me coffee in bed and danced with me on top of your feet in the kitchen and hid from the world underneath piles of blankets in our own grown-up fort and held me close to your heart the first time I let you see me cry and told me it would all be alright… THAT’S what I remember when I think of you now.

I remember you and I remember love.

But I still hate the fact that all I can do is remember. All I can do now is sit here, drinking your favorite beer and writing honest words you’ll never read.

365 days later and I still feel everything.

 

record player

Remember the record player? the record player you bought two years after I had been telling you how much I wanted one. The same one you purchased two months after our love broke. Perhaps so you could still keep a piece of me, there against the window, soaking up the stream of sunlight that used to dance across your wooden floors and my lap; perhaps just as bait to bring me back. Remember how you bought it broken, just to have it fixed? And how, even after months of playing Ryan Adams, I couldn’t figure out for the life of me just how to turn it on. So I would plea for help- sweets! my voice echoed along the corridors of your apartment. You always listened. So I learned to sing to you: And you and I were dancing in the dirty rain, my voice would carry over the words, and in the kitchen, with my feet placed on top of yours and my arms around your neck, that day we danced the first dance we’d never get to have.