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.

Definitely

There are good days and bad days

but the last two

have been the latter

tea and words and tears

for breakfast

and a flood of memories my mind

hasn’t remembered in a while

I want to be able to say more

than just I miss him

when they sit beside me

concern flooding their eyes when they notice

my tear-stained face

but I have no words

to explain the insufferable longing

here in my heart

except for

Saudade

the tongue of my motherland

suddenly

comfort seems so distant

a dream my mind must have made up

to get me through today

and then tomorrow

and the day after that

because when life breaks you this way

it’s either live one day at a time

or die.

The in-betweens we create disappear

you learn there’s only yes and no

I will and I won’t

I want you or I don’t

good days and bad

but the last two have been the latter

definitely.

Maybes no longer exist in my world.

 

 

Insufficient

Some days 

I still wish I could 

see myself through your eyes,

even if just once more

It’s not enough 

to know that once upon a time 

you loved me 

as much as you would ever love

anyone

and the photographs that once spoke a thousand words

hide away quietly in boxes

waiting for the day 

when the memory of your face

won’t make me

crumble inside.

Fading Away

It’s weird how memories fade.

Where do they go when they leave?

Up above beyond the clouds? Or do they just hang down below instead?

Underneath the dirt of our dirty soles,

our tired souls…

Who can no longer remember the curve of smiles, the scents left behind in the imaginary trail our bodies made?

To where exactly do our memories fade? And who can say how fast?

Why are some ghosts of our pasts still here, and the others long gone,

Far enough away from our minds that we no longer know who’s alive and who’s really dead. No, not anymore. Not these days.

Where do memories go when they fade?

And what if they stayed instead?

Continuum

The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

I find myself staring out into the endless ocean, looking right at the bright blue line that divides sea and sky. I remember the past year as parts that are so enjoined with the present that I confuse myself.

We’re told our whole lives not to dwell in the past. But if there is no distinction between past, present, and future, then to forget the past is to simply forget ourselves, forget who we are.

So when I sit lazily by the sea, I dive right into my memories- all the good ones I keep stored in a little treasure box in my brain. I pull them out as if trying on a new dress, turning them this way and that to appreciate their beauty. I let them teach me who I’ve been and who I’ll always be. Sometimes during this process, tears that weren’t spilled when they should’ve been come find their place on my cheeks.

It’s wonderful to be alone with my memories and the sea. It’s wonderful to see time as continuous, and past events as ones that were never, and will never, be kept solely in the past. They are here on these waves, on the hot sand, under the shade of the umbrella and over the pedestrian walkway. Your name is written with seashells on the shore, your face sculpted in the clouds, and your voice… a quiet whisper I hear in every crashing wave.