Coming undone

When my father died I repeated to myself over and over, It’s better to have loved and lost than it is to have never loved at all.

Sobbing, crying, blubbering. Thirteen.

When I lost my first boyfriend to excessive nonchalance, I repeated to myself, over and over, It’s better to have loved and lost than it is to have never loved at all.

Sobbing, crying, blubbering. Breaking out in stress-induced hives. Twenty.

When I lost my second boyfriend to two coasts, separate worlds and different generations, I repeated to myself, over and over, It’s better to have loved and lost than it is to have never loved at all.

Sobbing, crying, blubbering. Terrified, alone, suicidal. Twenty-four.

When I lost you, to things I have yet to understand, I am repeating to myself, over and over, It’s better to have loved and lost than it is to have never loved at all.

I am sobbing. I am crying. Blubbering. Confused, shaking. Self-destructive. Twenty-six.

Insomnia eats at my mind. My therapist says that my body is being devoured by the withdrawal from the separation of yours. My mind understands. My heart has not. I am shivering. Feverous. Shaking.

It takes two minutes after I wake up for all of me to remember. For one minute and fifty-nine seconds every morning I have to convince my mind it was not a bad dream. It is a depressive reality.

I am no longer yours, and you are no longer mine.

I walk into our old home. A graveyard of memories from our best hits. The phantoms of your hands follow every square inch. I remember the first day we moved in. The mattress on the floor of the master. Fucking in the foyer. The two staircases, the rooftop, the shower, the floors.

The billion-and-one kisses. The bear hugs. The fleeting touches. The hand holding. The Bhuddists believe we live many lifetimes. I want to spend a million of them under the blanket fort of crocheted stars. In the stillness of your arms, the assuredness of your forehead kisses.

I want to remember us by that night, and none of the ones after. I was blessed by the polarity of your love. Two suns in a singular universe. Fights and fucking that shook the neighborhood, quivering galaxies.

I have never felt such vivid tenderness, sweetness, such eager rawness. I have never felt so connected yet so distant.

I loved you to distraction. I wish we could’ve loved to absolution.

I have made a million-and-one mistakes, but I am so grateful for the us suspended under the blanket of stars. The Off-white rosé, the polaroid camera, the market charcuterie.

I have made a million-and-one mistakes, but it’s better to have loved and lost than it is to have never loved at all.

On ‘Why don’t you write more?’

Why don’t you write more? Everybody always asks me the same question over and over and once more for good measure and once again when they’ve remembered how long it’s been since they’ve asked it last. It’s flattering and kind. It’s sweet, with undertones of wanting, complementary, but naturally so and not forced so–all of the things I’ve ever wanted anybody to say about me. To feel about me.

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Some men are going to look at you and wonder about the others before him. Some people will look at you and summarize the entirety of who you are to the people who’ve touched you, kissed you, fucked you.

I grew up surrounded with the idea that the more of me I shared, the less of me there was left. That I was some kind of pie or cake or confectionary made for consumption. A math problem about how many pieces I could be cut into before there was nothing.

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All we’ve ever been made up of is morning afters.

I like to think about us a lot.

The way you held me the morning after; how you forgot the night before.

I like to pretend that I’m OK–that I’m better now; that what you were was a burn that scabbed and bled but eventually healed.

I can feel the slow palpitations in my heart when someone says a name that sounds like yours.

They remind me of the ones that once echoed into your chest. The ones you used to touch when they surfaced through each of my ribs. The ones that you cultivated in your hands; with your lips–the ones you bred from inside of everything I had once though was mine.

The ones that still belong to you.

So I wonder now: the parts of me that you took; the me that didn’t return.

I’ve been different. Less lovely, less impressive–less in love. More eager, more helpless, more obsessive–more lost.

I remember San Francisco. I remember New York; LA, Miami, but how it’s Toronto, still, that has the you I can’t forget and the me that I could never find.

If I had done nothing wrong, how could we never be right? Which part of me should be thrown away? Which part of me made everything of me worth forgetting?

I want to tell you there’s been nobody after you. Nobody that mattered. Nobody that felt significant. Nobody that reminds me of the 5am through your eyes. The 6am through your lakeside balcony.

The 7am me in your mouth.

Nobody that feels like you at night
and smells of me in the morning.

Fucking you, from memory alone.

It’s hard for me to write about you. To remember the way you looked at me; to remember the words you wrote to me. To remember how it was all of these that will no longer exist. To remember how it’s all of these that you no longer want.

It’s hard for me to find the right combination of words to describe you. To describe me, when I was with you. My English teacher told me it’s because I have to wait for the blood to dry before the ink will take.

Otherwise it’s messy, emotional. Unfocused. Like us, that night.

Like me: after you.

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My favorite mistake.

I keep rereading all of my old drafts, wondering when it was that I was happiest or saddest, when it was that I actually felt something.

I can’t write like I used to, because my thoughts are preoccupied repeating the last moments of you there.

The problem with art and writing is that it’s born from a level of intelligence, but it’s all colored by emotion. By feeling: by the way you make me tremble at two in the morning, by the way you make me break at two in the afternoon.

It’s been weeks, and I know I can make it seconds if I picked up the phone. If I can do you from more than memory alone.

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