I want this terrible year to end
but then I don’t because that seems wasteful
especially as I feel my 7-year-old
play footsie with me under the table
at this very moment in time
I am writing down life
his skin so soft it feels unreal
and my house is warm and I am in a body that
works so well
like a machine
or at least a small appliance
and I wake up each day
and I have people who love me
even though I am half terrible
but my mind feels unattached
suspended above me
it works less well I guess
it thinks about the ways the world
pushes up against you
how things get gone
I am not sure how we keep doing this
over and over
until we are the one to go
i started wearing a watch the summer you died
after a whole life of not looking at my wrist
time is a fast train and
what if i'm learning
how to measure it
for the first time
this terrible summer is almost over
and all of the beauty that lived in it will live under this
the taste in my mouth
i really don't get this whole thing
i am different now
once you looked at me and told me I was trouble and you could tell there was something brewing all around me and I laughed that laugh you can't forget the one that you could hear in a crowd and I told you it was true that you knew me all the way around
that no one got me like you did get me
then you got gone
and i think that the summer is almost over
people are wrapping up
the night comes
you can imagine leaves dropping soon
I will set my watch to it
we take in air and don’t even notice
we’re driving around or watching movies or sitting at little desks just breathing
we are on airplanes going back and forth to places we don’t even like
we are pushing grocery carts into the evening
maybe when we run we feel it
or when we do yoga because the teacher says to pay attention
or when we are heartbroken and our lungs are bricks that weigh us down
we can hardly climb stairs or laugh
we cannot yell
blood pumps fast through us all the time
we are hot on the inside
yeah sometimes we don’t realize that we are alive
we are so wild
little animals with terrible sadness
and our hearts beat 100,000 times a day
i think about food and sex and rock and roll
and the way you looked at me that one time when you told me the truth
i think about the how i want my heart to beat you a song
once i put my tongue on your neck and felt your heartbeat pound against me
i know you remember that too
it was weird
it lasted a long time
i would let you do anything to me
I am constantly trying to remember to be on purpose and matter of fact with my heart.
I make a fist and squeeze it.
I open my fist and wave to you across the room.
You are surrounded by light from a window.
There is a small spark.
I am aware of my air.
I pant for you.
It’s hard to see your name every single day in my google chat list. I want to click it. It’s like a little itch. I want to tell you things like I saw your daughter on the street the other day and she didn’t see me but I saw her and she was so beautiful. Her face looks like yours. The way she walked. Everything. I want to tell you that I am crazy and I drink too much wine. I want to tell you that life is the same but so very different since you went away. I think there is a marked line in the dirt of life right now. Before that happened. After that happened. You are goddamn important to this whole thing. I want to tell you that. I want to tell you that. I want to tell you that everything is interconnected. I know it now.
I drive fast on the highway and sometimes I swear I see your name on the exit signs.
All big and bold. There are whole conversations that I replay in my mind. We talk about things like the future. Food. The way a song lyric attaches itself to the inside of ears. You laugh that big laugh that shows all of your teeth and I count down all the days you could possibly have left.
I am slowly getting used to you not sending me texts.
I pretend that you are on holiday. I look for postcards in the mail.
I see you inside of my computer and once at the market, I thought you were in the produce section.
There she is I thought.
Look at her finger those melons.
It was a woman who looked nothing like you when she turned around.
I ask my 6-year-old if he thinks I am crazy.
He shakes his head and his hazel eyes are sincere.
This is the summer he sees his mother unwind.
I go the gym and ride the stationary bike on the random hill setting. I do this for 45 mins and I listen to dirty rap. Sweat is a river in my pants. Sometimes I raise my hands above my head like an athlete would do to stretch. I try and get my sadness to drain to the floor. To fall out of my body. Get it out of your body I whisper to myself.
It doesn’t budge.
Sometimes I just don’t trust anything at all.
Like we’re all standing on lace.
It’s delicate to the point of almost being funny.
I tell myself that I am a tiger.
I am strong and fierce and this thing under the surface of me is going to go away.
This pit of my stomach to level out.
We wave at each other from across the street.
The sun gives halos.
You see me.
Everything is like it once was.
I am walking around my well-manicured neighborhood looking for others.
People like me. But there are no middle-aged women dragging grief like a blanket down the sidewalk. There are only people on porches who are laughing and the sun is shining. There are families walking with toddlers in wagons and they are tan and beautiful. I am the only one who has drank two cold beers at in the middle of the day. I am dressed like a teen goth. I look like my sadness. I am my sadness.
I don’t call my friends because this feels very awkward and something that should be done in private.
This feels like I can’t get it all the way out of me.
I am sure the librarian silently judges me from my stack of reserved self-help books that I pick up. I have known this person for a long time. Familiar strangers. And she knows I am fucked up by all of the books I reserve. Feminist theory books touching diet books touching poetry collections and now this. I am ready to read words that will make me less afraid of everything. I want to be bulletproof. Strong again. I want you not to be dead. I look the librarian in the eye like I love her. Her green eyes look away. People don’t like it when you want them. I want her. Like I want her to take me in her arms and hold me and tell me she knows everything will be ok. In the middle of the library. Where every story has ever been told. Where anything is possible.