College Heartbreak

I wish my mother was wrong when she said you never forget your first college love

Honestly I didn’t think I’d have to forget you

After your leaving, you disapeared from every record

Yet what else would I expect – you never wanted to leave a trail anywhere but my neck when you still loved me

People ask me if you survived past that year and I am as clueless as they – the only difference is our bodies were intertwined enough that fingerprints lingered months after drifting away

I don’t use those sheets anymore, I’m afraid they’ll still smell like you

Which would be the only thing you left me other than memories played on repeat trying to figure out how I could have made you stay

I told myself it was just bad timing

But I kept running over that day like a child running their tongue  over the spot a tooth once was

How I could tell by your distance

And the pain in your sea green eyes you were trying so hard to hide from me

You hesitated as if for a moment you were thinking about keeping our love in a locket around your neck

Now hidden in a drawer somewhere collecting dust

I have no idea if you exist on this earth anymore other than in memories

And sometimes that’s worse than mourning someone in the ground

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The Bottles On My Nightstand // A Prompt

There is a glass I leave open

Full of each positive thought I’ve had in the last few years

Some months it numbers less than others

Lying there open for whomever needs happiness in a moment of despair

Next to it lies a jug filled with each emotion that is not happy or her synonyms

There have been moments where it has overflowed into the glass next to it

I try to cap it in attempts to let no one else but me see inside

A few horror movie scripts could be made of it

This jug’s counterpart is a bottle filled of the years I don’t talk about

You know, the ones I erased from my memory in hope every one did too

But I know they will stay with me past the grave

All the years I didn’t stop hurting, even when I thought there was no hurt left

The memories play here in a movie about my own suffering, still waiting to be finished because I know there will be more years of this despite the little room this bottle has left to fit them in

One more bottle sits, filled with the good times

Capped off so I don’t forget

Moments I couldn’t stop laughing until I cried

Days my face hurt from smiling so much

I know there will also be more of these

Keeping optimistic it will fill before the years of suffering, I keep a larger bottle for the good days ahead

via Daily Prompt: Bottle

Love // A Prompt

We spent summer afternoons laughing our lungs out on the playground of your town’s elementary school

Those same nights spent trying not to get heat stroke in your poorly air conditioned room, with as many fans as we could muster

The first time we called ourselves a pair, our hands fit awkwardly together

Hearts thumping hard enough to break through ribs but trying to hide our feelings in front of all the people who so badly wanted this to happen

We danced around “I love you” for far too long to some people but it felt just long enough for us

Winter nights we spent in a snowy wonderland, snuggling up to each other for warmth

We grew into each other and the love we had bloomed

Love knows when two people who are meant for each other

We felt comfort in each other’s presence, not always needing words but just a gentle brush of skin or meeting of eyes across a room

Sharing jokes between facial expressions and gestures

As much as I hate to admit, he was home

The spring I tore myself away is still vivid in my memory

The sights, smells, the way the air felt

I didn’t want to admit how afraid I was that he might be the one

And that was the worst mistake I ever made

We both admit we still love each other

It’s just finding the path back to our love and watering it until it blossoms again

via Daily Prompt: Blossom

Changing Seasons

The person I was 3 years ago would not recognize the person I am today

Even if standing face to face

Which is to say neither will he

He will never come back to me now

Which is fine

Since he was the one who broke me

Forget, Past Tense

Lay me out while I bleed for you

Until everything is but a blissful pink

And I know you will not forget me then

Just like when I whispered my elegy in your ear

Each tether keeping me anchored on this earth snapping

The weight you crushing my chest

I did not want your blood on my hands but that only meant further drowning in the abyss of being forgotten

If I left you would have been dead but if I stayed it would have been my name on that marker

My name left your tongue the first time you kissed her

You forgot about me the moment her fingerprints replaced mine on your skin

I smirk every time I check to see you’re still here

Remembering my tears quelling droughts the first month after

I felt like an abandoned house

You stole everything and all that was left of me was the shell of a woman who you once promised to love until the stars faded to darkness

But you should see me now

Rebuilt on my own, everyone wants to know what was here before but all I have are the photographs of you smiling and my eyes begging for an escape route

Thank you for showing me what I didn’t deserve

Names

My name is hand-me-down re-purposed by my own hands

My maternal grandmother was born to a family of artists in 1931

Weaving yarn together with needles on the couch is how I remember her through my childhood

I started crocheting 2 years after her death because my hands didn’t know how to sit still

I have been told neither could hers

Painting was one of my first loves in life, always being the one in class to have paint on my face, my clothes, in my hair

Throughout the house her paintings hang like a warm reminder that I’ll carry her not just in my name but in 14 years of memories I try so hard to not let go of

The name I wear as a locket around my neck, paint dotting my clothes as the photograph inside

Some days I wonder if she would be proud of me now

But I am also very much my father’s daughter

Unapologetic in brute honesty, I am not a lady like she was raised to be

I talk with the rhythm of my ancestors, too fast, too loud, too uneducated

Maybe she beams proudly that I fight tooth and nail to get where I need to be and I can’t see through the stubborn eyes my father gave me

I still wear her name proudly, not giving anyone the satisfaction of claiming it doesn’t fit in their mouth, so I should find a new one easier for them to pronounce

It’s been five years since you left and all I can hope is that between books, you see my laughter returning, voice booming, and succeeding

 

For Ainslie Sr., from Lil’ Ainslie

Daily Prompt: Fortune

The fortune left in my inheritance includes the ability to act as though everything is perfect when the world is crumbling in our fingers

With each generation we break until there is nothing left of us but the wind whispering our secrets to the world

We are weaved into epidemics no one wants to talk about until they are personally affected

Pretending families like mine aren’t completely killed off by these silent killers

The world faded to nothing in my father’s hands and all he has to show for it are the ghosts living behind his blue-grey eyes

In my fingers the world melted and I have yet to rebuild it

Nights I spend awake mania keeps me company, her energy driving me to do what I normally would steer clear of

Days I spend in a haze, depression turns my body into a winter wonderland with her arctic freeze occupying my bones

Tears stopped flowing down my cheeks the first months trying to solve this puzzle, scars are the only remnants of what I once was able to manage

Epiphanies come when I’m floating above the clouds but once my feet meet the gravel again I forget those discoveries I thought would be waiting for me

I still have yet to make sense of the fortune gifted between generations of hushed conversations

via Daily Prompt: Fortune

Daily Prompt: Flee

Fleeing my problems runs in my veins

I come from a long line of runners

Five years ago the only way our I saw was letting go of my physical being and they would not let me go

Not long after my cousin found his son trying to leave the same way I was going to

The darkness swallowed us whole, there is no light in a world like that no matter how many times you try to turn it on yourself

My uncle fled to the wilderness of Northern Canada for a year because he could not bear the memories of war unless he faced them himself

At one point my father was more alcohol  than he was human, not sleeping for days on end The only way he could cope with that same war was pouring himself into his work and another drink

Two cousins both fled the real world by injecting until they would wake up dopesick aching for another hit

My grandfather kissed the bottle more than he kissed his wife

My father was the only of the 5 to forgive even if he was the one who trudged through hell longer than the rest for the sake of his own father

Fleeing reality is my greatest hobby and I will be lucky to not end up in a casket

My friends and I dance with the devil every time we reach the clouds but where we are from you are lucky if you make it out of that town without making a hobby of smoking enough pot to solve unemployment

You’re lucky if you make it out without dabbling in the most controversial drug of our time

And with my family history I am lucky it is just that

via Daily Prompt: Flee

Wrong Light

Whenever I write about you I talk about cracking

I forgot mentioning the way you morphed time like marmalade’s slow, letting us take each other in

There was a gallery displayed on your skin with every freckle, stray hair, scar that my fingers were hungry for

Your eyes held galaxies I could explore forever

Each time I paint you into words I forgot you were the home I thought my love could live in forever and how could I lose something like that

When you left I evaporated from the pools my tears melted me into

Nights when you were still here, you sleeping in my twin bed tangled limbs and all

Sleepily kissing your shoulder, you pulling me closer as your teddy bear

Awoken by thunder one night, your warmth as you still slept, the only thing I thought was how I was looking right at the rest of my life, dreaming, holding me tight

After your leaving I couldn’t even eat without remembering each conversation shared over a meal

To this day I don’t know why you left

Maybe you were afraid it was too perfect to be real

Every time your lips curved into a smile I thought I was watching the rest of our lives together play out

Each bout of laughter the house, the children, the adventures

Now each moment it fades a little farther as we forget the way we felt the calm storm of love

Left with the few moments our stories wound together as one

Downpour

Standing in that downpour by your side, we were still worlds apart with our skin touching

I was watching the lightning dance across the pond to the beat the thunder laid out with childlike curiosity

Absent to your presence

Later that night I was asking myself if I was enough for you

I wasn’t

I wish I could go back and tell myself the date you would leave me cold

You looked at the world in rigid lines

Long ago you lost the curiosity I still harbored

Just because it was brief doesn’t mean it wasn’t exactly what I needed

We wanted what was best and it wasn’t each other

As you left I asked you to leave the door open

I kept it closed for so long before you

It was time to love freely through every downpour and every summer’s day

That warm rain encompassing my skin that night still lingers in my memory

Whispering to never question my own worth

Rain will still return to visit