You have been gone a long time now. But the heartache you placed in my chest sits there like an orchestra- at times, behind drawn curtains so I can go about my days like any other person and oftener, in performance, playing pieces that rise to a crescendo so quick I am afraid the pain shall burst from my heart in a deafening shout of your name. There are also those rare moments when the violins and flutes come together to play a symphony that brings back your memories- and those moments are the hardest.
Nostalgia swirls unrestrained in my being, my head swimming with notes that sound like half-formed regrets. My heart feels like it is carrying tar, struggling to maintain its beat and your echoes grate on my nerves, like twitching flickers from a fire tamed, yet not quite doused by time. It’d be easier if the crescendo simply set my being ablaze, burning out the air I needed to breathe- so it was all over in a matter of seconds- but that would not do.
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The embers of our love have to glow and burn at once, enjoying their twirly dance as the fiery fiends sear my insides slowly, yet copiously- like a caveman hard at work. It would not do to simply turn the flicker into an obedient flame- sometimes, the waves had to turn feverish in their disobedient devouring, on other occasions, merely a scathing servant. I believe you intended for it to be that way. You didn’t want the plumes of your blazing love to roam about in the wilderness of my being, like a famished beast devouring everything in its path and belching out black smoke. You wanted the fire to warm my insides, illumine my world with your image and then, explode whole so it could swallow up whatever of you sneaked back into my world. I couldn’t have you– not then, not now, never.
I get that message.
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Playing in a tender piece or bursting at the seams, I hear it. Hidden in the crackling flames or raging in the burning fire, I hear it. The way you’d said it all those years ago. I couldn’t have you.
Maybe I never did. Maybe you weren’t mine to keep.
Yet, in every beat that breaks my heart still- with every flame that greedily tears at my being- I feel a little more raw, like there’s no skin over my pain and the wind can make me bleed. And each time it does, I bring up my bleeding wounds to my mouth and taste the dreams you stole. Because these dreams are mine to keep.
Call me foolish when I choose to carry these shards in my heart so, ripping my soul in pieces- but you don’t blame moths for loving the flame or kids their mud- so why then, am I a fool to love you when the world says I should not…
I never fell in love thinking if I end up with a broken heart (though I wished I didn’t), I would stop loving you. Yes, I choke from memories of you, my body shakes with every heartbeat that cannot help but call out to you and my lips tremble as they keep whispering your name- but every night as I crawl into these cold sheets, I pull your absence over me like ‘twould guard the hole you bore into my chest. As slumber fills in the darkness, I swear I feel too heavy to pull myself out of bed. It’s like the dreams have raced in, filling my being with you once again- because these dreams are mine to keep.
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As time seems to both draw on and speed by, I look back and realize years have gone by since I began nursing my broken heart- and look ahead and see us bumping into each other, like ‘twas yesterday replaying itself all over again. It took infinite tiny moments of time for us to become love- and then, our time ran out. We ceased like the hands of a clock that was too tired to bear the burden of ticking moments. An immovable glance frozen in a room of crowded people, an unintentional smile baked in a compliment or a laugh shared across a joke only we can understand- these moments faded out even as the rest of the world continued to take note of the centuries that rushed ahead. Has it been that long? Is our time gone forever or does forever hold the possibility of stealing a second of US and bring it back now? My broken heart does not know.
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All it knows is I remember you, even after all this time. When I close my eyes, time seems to roll back into an endless sync with the beating of my heart- and maybe, just maybe that beat can steady itself with your heartbeat matching its rhythm again. If not, the dream is still mine to keep. Because I never fell in love thinking if I end up with a broken heart (though I wished I didn’t), I would stop loving you.
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