It flutters in the vail of night
When your voice was my heartbeat
My blood thick with memories
Where your arms once wrapped
The pale of anxiety rests comfortably
And though exhaustion gnaws at me
I fight the release
Like a breath too long held
But the scent too savory to exhale
Afterglow long faded
Like a worn 90s black light party
The stains of our love visible
When all light is gone
And silence rings like the clarion bell
I know what I must do.
Is like a picnic
On the event horizon
Of a supermassive black hole
Inevitable, inescapable nothingness.
30 lbs of poetry in my hands
Into bloodied songs
Framing a face that was never yours
Brined in tears
My heart, fork-tender
Needs one more hit
Through the glittering lights, and sparkling ornaments, the pined air, and candles flickering, I memories dance. Enlarged by the magic, I dive into them because I am cold. Not all memories make good blankets.
“I will hold you” I say. Thinking they’ll pull me up from the other side.
They keep me for a time, until that time when they’ve climbed as high as they can… as they want to, with me.
I am the bridge of happiness, forged in grief and despair. I collapse only under the weight of myself, while the burden of others’ fortifies me.
I resent them, after a time. I built this bridge, lustrous, expansive, nigh indestructible.
I resent myself, actually. My flaw is being flawless.
I can carry any weight that is not my own.
I am the stepping stone to happiness.
I will help you find yourself, through happiness or pain. I don’t know how to ask for the same, but I rust away.
Weather worn, I will be a monument to emotional baggage, the envy of airports.
I am the stepping stone. You’re grateful when you need me. And only when you need me.
You’ll have to pull it from my cold, dead fingers. All the vigor of the rigor, the intensity of my loathing still burning in my cold eyes.
I won’t let go.
I had to let go of the hope of not being afraid of my father as a child.
I had to let go of being loved by my family because I was gay.
I had to let go of all the slurs, that now paint my back like an oil slick.
I had to let go of being outcast by my peers in my formative years.
I had to let go of Jeremy breaking my heart.
I had to let go of so many hopes and dreams.
Fuck you. I will not let go. Not of him. Not of the memory of feeling my whole self. I won’t let go. I have nothing else.
I am formed by the voids these things have left in me. If I let go of him, I am afraid, that I’ll finally fade into nothing.
And so I cling. Not to him, but to life. To that feeling of fullness.
You wouldn’t know how empty I feel. The desperation. The dread. You may sympathize, but you’ll never know. You didn’t live my story.
He was my sunshine, and he made me happy when skies were grey. Please don’t take my sunshine away.
Am I thankful? No.
Not for the childhood fear, saturating my soul, dreams dripping with it decades later.
For the abandonment of family, wistfully neglecting me with their politics, guilting me because they love me unconditionally while I do not reciprocate. No.
For those that I opened my heart to, tender and weary, to have it reduced in a sherry gravy. Sweet, meaty, salty with regret. No.
Am I thankful for the constant loneliness, company kept only by my tears. No.
You want me to be thankful that the sun still rises each day? Do you know what I see in that sunrise? Another 24 hours of struggling to live, pretending to care about the emptiness of this life. I have no more purpose to assign.
I was thankful once, for someone that gave purpose to all the hurt in my life. And he left me. You do not get to say whether or not it is healthy, when your thanks are rooted in white supremacy.
Go, now, and be thankful elsewhere.