When He Tries to Show Back Up in Your Poems


How do you know you’ve stopped loving someone? It must be when you see them take all of their masks off and shiver cold in front of you, and you take only a hurried look at their cracks before you look away. When their nervous breathing doesn’t move you anymore. When their fragility doesn’t make you want to hold them.

I slept next to you, your body moving against mine.
It used to feel like fire and water colliding.
Like my best hit my worst,
like your good wolf bit my evil,
like I’d reached your North and heated it up,
then took it to the South.
There was a boundless warmth between us, melting all of our sadness into a feeling so strong that we grabbed its matching ends and prayed that it held us forever.
Underneath your map of scars found the faraway kingdom,
the one they wrote all the fairy tales about.
I was enchanted.
You used to call me your princess when the night came
and we would finally sneak back in.
But no one ever told the story of the queen,
time stops with the taming of the young and restless princess.
And I was all yours.

My days were cold and my nights were burning.
You lit a spark I thought only real poets get to see
when they come to accept their loneliness-bound destiny.
I didn’t mind the slippery ice,
for all my thoughts were liquid fire.
Soon, I was travelling from North to Hell and back every day,
every night,
every secret encounter.
I was weakened,
Tonight, I saw you and felt nothing at all.

I was refreshed, as if my soul was brand new.
As if I had woken up from a long afternoon nap
and I was ready to go out there and face the world,
without your flames burning my back.

I’ve already wasted so many words on you.
I was done with befores, afters, even right nows.
I let my mind go blank, until the world became close to abstract.
I laughed to myself on the way home, fastening my pace.
I had nothing that night, apart from delicious, icy fresh air to breathe in,
and old stories of you to tell no one.
But I’ve already wasted so many words on you.

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