Awhile ago, I was in this kind of psych ward and there was this guy, Leonard. All the time I knew him,all he ever said were these numbers. “4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42”. Over and over and over again.
"Maes nipples are badass
Like the rising sun
She likes bears
Cries over everyone”
i found a poem i forgot i had written
about a boy i forgot i knew
and as my eyes traced each stale syllable
i could see you in my metaphors
and that’s how i knew i was in trouble.
i wish, more than anything,
i could say it ended there,
but soon enough i began detecting
bits and pieces of you
in my otherwise mundane surroundings:
that actor’s smirk,
that coworker’s opinion,
that pack of cigarettes,
each filling the crevices of my chest with
more butterflies than i was proud to admit to harboring.
and every other night,
an unspoken promise of half-ashamed clockwork,
your name would appear in my call log,
and, each and every time,
we would promise each other
the call wouldn’t last for more than ten minutes,
as we each had our respective jobs the next morning
in our separate lives
what more could we possibly have to discuss?
but two hours later,
we were still laughing at each other’s stupid jokes,
mapping impossible futures,
making plans for unlikely visits
to our respective hometowns.
you’d say something that i would find offensive
if it escaped from anyone’s lips but yours
and i’ll smile and say “i hate you”
just to have the taste of
the wrong four letter word in my mouth.
look, i’m not too naïve to realize
that this unlikely spark of what could be a romance
will not end in a way that is any less painful than
being run over by a subway car,
but at 2am
with your sweet “maybe“‘s echoing in my ears
i can’t help but wonder
if you, my very own impending doom,
are somehow worth the inevitable pain.
the first time i kissed you
i couldn’t tell if the deafening boom
that resounded between my ears
was a gunshot or a firework.
i couldn’t tell if our fateful lip lock
was the the first chapter of
something beautiful that would
light up my skies with
or something destructive that would
pierce my skin and spill my blood
and oh babe, did i bleed.
the first casualty was my ribcage:
it metamorphasized from
the home state of my heart
to the captor of the
hundreds of butterflies
you would release with
each word you spoke.
second to go were my eyes
as i became so blinded by
the man i wished you could be
that i could no longer make out
the coward you truly were.
my teeth were your final victims
as they were left like prison bars
forever incarcerating the words
i wish i had been been
brave enough to say to you
sitting in orange jumpsuits
carving the same words
i typed and erased from the text box
over and over and over
marking every i love you
every i hate you
every you don’t understand what i’m going through
into concrete walls.
babe, you were my freedom and my sentence.
my parole and my time.
my everything and my nothing.
and you left me
with bated breath and trembling lips
sweaty palms and empty promises
but most of all you left me
with a thousand futures
and a billion maybes.
and, babe, that’s enough to keep me going.
I’ve been through a lot, I deserve a lot.