I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at with a mouthful of forevers.
We have both known loss like the sharp edges of a knife. We have both lived with lips more scar tissue than skin.
Our love came unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up on asking love to come.
I think that has to be part of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms will bandage and we will press promises between us like flowers in a book. I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat on your skin. I will write novels to the scar of your nose. I will write a dictionary of all the words I have used trying to describe the way it feels to have finally, finally found you.
And I will not be afraid of your scars.
I know sometimes it’s still hard to let me see you in all your cracked perfection, but please know:
Whether it’s the days you burn more brilliant than the sun or the nights you collapse into my lap, your body broken into a thousand questions, you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.
125 by Josh Walker
Neal Shusterman, Everfound
Pablo Neruda, “Absence”
(via A Softer World: 963)
1. We were in tune like synchronised swimmers.
Now I learn to navigate the oceans on my own.
2. I sobbed on public transport yesterday.
I wanted to call you but then remembered
I’m not allowed to.
3. The truth is: I know I’m better off
without you, but these memories
keep tricking me.
4. You make me feel like a walking cliché.
I need to stop romanticising leaving,
stop comparing your collar bones to
valleys and your freckles to constellations.
5. Can you jumpstart my heartbeat again?
I’m running so low on fuel.
6. God knows I need to delete your number.
7. Please don’t ever contact me again.
8. Perhaps we were destined to falter
from the start,
just as Venice is doomed to sink.
9. Speaking of Venice,
you should visit while there
is still time.
10. You made the words
feel just right. Now they spin
11. You had little nicknames for me.
I secretly miss being called moon shell,
tiger, fairy nymph.
12. Maybe we were just a collection
of dead ends and false starts.
We should have been disqualified
from the beginning.
13. Grief is the same in any language.
I mourn you. I collect flowers and place them
on your grave in the cemetery.
14. You are so much more than human.
15. Despite all of this, there is some
beautiful solitude in sleeping with
only my heartbeat