Without poetic excuses, these stories are told too late (as truths often are).
There are large yellow bruises on my thighs and large purple scabs on my soul. Most people don’t see either one.
I thought I had perfected the art of letting go, but years later I realize there was a piece of someone I’d kept this whole time because it looked so much like it was mine.
I once believed I was lonely enough to not care which star would fall for my dreams, so long as my dreams come true. But we all know by now how I fell instead for your persimmon pulse of light and shattered into tiny mismatched constellations. Many have since fallen, promising to grant my wishes with their violet, their blue, their grey-green glows. But they barely look like light at all to me. Not once since yours faded from my fingers.
A mist escaped from his lips and he rubbed his palms together. I’d found him snuggled up to himself outside the locked doors of the cafe. It was two twenty-eight in the morning and he’d forgotten everything again. Ran away in a fit of confusion and even bruised his knee. What warms and wonders me is how, despite forgetting my face at least six times a day, he has not once forgotten how to find his way to me.
Ever since she was ten, she had been keeping notebooks where she would write one sentence every day. Then in the future, she would flip to some page in the past and try to remember what she must have been feeling that day. Her biggest wish was that someone would find a time portal for objects, and she would send all her notebooks into the past. She figured that if she knew in advance what she was going to feel the next day, pain would not take her by surprise anymore.
One leaf was bright, dewy, sparkling.
One was crumpled a little bit at the corners.
One was losing its color.
One barely looked like a leaf at all.
One was crooked, but whole.
One was a skeleton, with its paper clinging to its bones.
One was my favorite color, but it flew away too soon.
I loved each of them at some point.
There must be a secret somewhere that is the answer to what I am looking for exactly. It’s not quite about being happy; just where does the sadness come from?
Let me be your joke: the one you tell to people you’ve only just met so you can win them over. Let me be the one they remember you by. Let me be your favorite prank: the one that gets placed next to your name, the one they remember next when they remember you first. Let me be your lie: the ones that saves you and never fails you. Let me be your fool; I’m already one anyway.
Everyday I write a letter to tell you I’m tired of you. The one that reaches you is always a billet-doux. I write your name on the wall only to cross it out. I draw hearts instead. Everyday I find the moment to tell you I think you’re crazy. I prove myself a hypocrite, a liar, a thief. I have stolen my weaknesses and pretended they are yours.
A list of ways we could have been:
– you said hello that day in blue
– I stole your heart in song
– you needed me for something
– I said hello that day in white
– you loved me back
You said you were not smart. And you really didn’t understand poetry. But if you remember the brown and grey, the blanket you left me, the shirt that was my favorite color, and the way I wrote our stories, then you might understand why I loved you anyway.
When I was a child, I read a story of a man who killed himself because he had figured out the meaning of life. I couldn’t understand how you could be terrified to have something everybody is looking for. Today I am burdened with to-do lists I am not sure I want to do and ambitions I often doubt if they are really mine. So when somebody told me that the meaning of life is to be alive, I suddenly understood. Because that meant that I too had died a long time ago.
Tell me something. Tell me about the lists you write on the backs of receipts in coffeeshops and slip into the pockets of strangers. Maybe tell me about each name on the list, where it comes from and how it earned its place. Or tell me the words you didn’t write, the ones you crossed out. Tell me everything. We have time.
I must have written this letter a hundred times in my head — Okay. Two hundred times — and I still haven’t found the right story I want to tell. Do I tell you about the first time I saw you? (clad in red embrace, and out of reach) Or how about the first time I looked at you? (Away, pointed, making me laugh) And when I’ve decided my story, how will I tell it? (Obscurely, secretly, tearfully) Above all, why all the hustle and fuss over a measly set of words? It isn’t as if I’m about to tell you I loved you.
On the hundredth day of the year, I soaked myself chin-deep in a void I never thought I’d go back to. I clicked away the probabilities, looking for a name. Did it have a name, this despair? Was it, maybe, my name?
Sometimes I make you up inside my head, pretending you wanted me as much. (I would love to write about happier things but how do I do that?)
There are only three rules:
1) It has to hurt.
2) When it hurts, don’t leave.
3) When you leave, don’t come back.
I didn’t meet you until I was twelve, but even before that, you were in my bedtime stories and my fairy tales. You were the poison that killed my heroes, and I always wondered why. I didn’t know until I was twelve that poison looked like promise and tasted like love. My heroes didn’t know until they were dead.
Outlines; traces to fill in, plans.
Fillings; moving forward, building, trying.
Shapes; almost there.
Pictures; never exactly how you envision them to be.
“But I didn’t want love. I wanted attention.”
Not the fortune you were hoping for:
Go find the girl with the crooked smile. It will never get old.
Your favorite poem won’t be written in words.
If people were sand, who is escaping your fingers this second?
That boy on the train wants to talk to you too.
If lovers were cities, where would you want to die?
Where your mind goes is never random.
What would you dream up if it didn’t exist? (Go fight for it.)
I can see your scars from the ones you give away.
May you never be content; may you never be complete.
I think you’ve read this before, this love letter to you. It just wasn’t written by me at the time.
I have not yet found the words to reach you, but they will reach you, whether or not they still matter when they do.
1) That’s disheartening.
2) Back to cryptic.
3) Push and pull.
When you’ve been through a specific type of pain and decided that you can’t stand it, even a reminder of the feeling is an enemy.
You gave up at the end of my question. You didn’t spare a second to try, try, try.
a letter to the one I am looking for
I am leaving this letter in exactly the place where you will not look. The last time I apologized for doing that you told me you believed that all lost things get found somehow. My words simply lost their way on their way to you. Maybe they’ll reach you one day.
I don’t want you to see this because I don’t want to set you up for disappointment. You know how I think of you, but not through my own eyes and lips, because I don’t want to teach you to hope for me. I can’t bear to hurt you any more than I must already do. But if I could I would tell you how happy I am.
Do you remember when your father bought you your favorite book, the one you’ve been looking ages for? You said he had no way of knowing, and he only picked it up with the thought that it was something you might like, something he wanted you to have. And though it was just a book, you felt understood.
And that’s what you’ve given me. Not a book, or a flower, or a precious stone. You’ve given me an affirmation that unselfish and generous love exists. Not only is the affirmation mine, the love is too. And every day that you love me without demanding that I love you back, I feel understood.
If I could write these feelings away, I would have written new languages by now.
You are the cloud to my silver lining. I didn’t know how far it could go, and maybe I should have tried. The problem with honesty: my silver lining often ends there.
I’ll keep this thought in my pocket and carry it around with me. I have a thousand little notes to you at the back of my mind. Maybe one day you’ll get to read them. Maybe one day you’ll want to.
Lightweight one day; the next, stranded by the weight of improbabilities.