the wind, knocked out of me.
my lungs, like stubborn wind
does not succumb,
unable to surrender to death
for your sake.
my heart breaks
to a fast paced waltz
it shatters more,
each piece crying out
each letter of your name
it starts with a loud J
and ends in a hushed
it comes back.
like the ghost of poison
enough to bring forth
and cause me
to bend forward.
and scream your name
‘why? why did it not work out?’
this question is my cue to reach out for my phone or take a sip of coffee. it is my entry code for escape. how do i explain the whys? the reasons is a lot like the wind. it is there. it sometimes brings clues of what will come … like the scent of your perfume or the sandwich burning in the microwave.
how do i explain how it ends or why it had to end?
how do i explain how it annoys me when you leave your shirt (just your shirt) on the towel rack? how you would eat cereals in my coffee mug and let the milk sit there until it leaves a crease. how do i explain… why you chose to leave the shirt i gave you for your birthday . . . and why you left if folded in my closet.
how do i explain that you chose to leave your sketches behind but chose to bring your tattered slippers with you.
how do i explain that i knew the storm was coming the moment you whispered ‘hey’?
how do i explain that i looked up wishing i would still see a clear sky and fluffy white clouds despite the glaring thunder sounds? how do i say all these and not burst into my own rain shower?
I looked at her back as she pushed her way out of my small flat. It was the most beautiful thing I saw this week.
My week had been an endless battle between stale coffee, angry customers, unlit cigarettes and endless crumbs on the floor.
Her back, in the act of leaving me, was the most beautiful thing I saw this week.
I should have ran to her and told her that … knowing well enough that she and only she will understand. She would have smiled at me and kissed me lightly or gently ran her fingers on my locks.
But I did not.
How could I ruin the only beautiful thing I saw this week?
“Listen. What can you hear?” she whispered.
I told her there was nothing there.
“No. Wait. Listen,” she said. I was worried she was getting too scared. I love her and I wanted her to feel safe.
I kept quiet and looked at her – searching for signs of fear and hints of hesitation. It wasn’t like this was her first time to stay over. What was bothering her?
“Oh that’s probably the neighbor’s cat,” I exclaimed.
“Probably the booze,” she said, and smiled at me.
three . . .
months have passed.
I lie here no longer waiting for you to come back. And I hear everything.
(the branches creaking with the wind. my heart missing a beat. the cat escaping. the minute hand mocking me.
the clinking sound of my half-empty vodka bottle and my unwashed glass.)
“Must be the booze,” I whispered.
With a pile of things left to sort, (some of which are badly waiting to be thrown) and a ton of paperwork begging to be done, I – the great procrastinator, sit here stunned.
I am too shocked to even start.
Anyhow, I miss you, Lolo.
I count everything. That’s the only way I know. I count to help myself, to steady myself, to defy gravity or to obey it. I count to verify reality.
It doesn’t matter what I count. I just count. I have to count.
I count so that the lines do not dance and disappear. I count so that I know I exist and everything else around me remains constant.
I count numbers, seconds, patterns on my dress, and my breath.I count scars and empty bottles.
I count the number of times you sent me flowers; the number of times you called me “mine”.
I count our dates, our fights, the hours you kept me waiting.
I count to live and to cease pain. I count so that I could forget the days you had me hanging, the times you had me yearning, the days you held me close – too close.
I count photographs of us – 35. I count photographs of you – 28.
I count the minutes spent on putting everything in a box; on opening it and re-closing it for the 7th time.
I miss you with all my heart. I miss you when the waters rage and threaten to swallow me. I miss you when the winds are calm. I miss you when the bottles are empty and when I discover (in my somber state) yet another treasure trove. I miss you when the skies are clear. I miss you when they are not because it reminds me so much of how our lives were when our existence was yet to be validated by each other.
I miss you when the ocean hums a new song or when it brings familiar tunes. I miss you when the parking spaces are empty and I giggle like a fool when I picture how we could have danced all night . . . like how we used to.
I miss you when Love comes…
I miss you when it leaves.