At least I tried. 

At least I tried. 

I used to be such a good girl. 

I used to be such a good girl. 

April 10th
I like your squint as you look through a camera just before you hit the trigger, the way your eyebrows draw critically over your eyes as you stress over timing and meticulously adjust your angles. 

I like it when you take a million more shots until you realize you captured the perfect image instinctually the first time. 

I like that you over-think just about everything you do.  

But what I like most is that you always deliberately take off your glasses to kiss me, so that you never frame my face boxed in by any correction.

One year ago

The first time I ever passed out in my life was exactly a year ago. I was so sick and dehydrated that I couldn’t even stand up straight in the shower. I blacked out so quickly that you didn’t have a chance to catch me. 

I woke up on the floor, in your arms and throwing up, to the sound of your normally deep voice high pitched and frantic, begging me to snap out of it. 

Apart from bruising both my knees black, the fall itself didn’t hurt me. 

The diagnosis that we’d be apart for the next six to eight months while I recovered broke something permanently. 

Now I pass out fairly regularly. 

Like the time at the concert where he wrapped his arms around me just how you used to and it felt so wrong that I couldn’t breathe. 

Or that day that I was so desperate to feel weightless that I dove off a cliff regardless of the low tide only to receive a rock in my foot and a trail of my blood up all 50 feet of the bluffs, marking a heaviness that he struggled to carry and not even my unconscious body couldn’t escape. 

Or the time I drank myself out of my clothes and into a shower with a stranger after I saw you for the first time since you left me. 

I can’t excuse the first two times, but forgive me for condoning the third one. 

I was just hoping that with the burn of every shot I remembered swallowing, a month of missing you would be incinerated from my memory, so that when I woke up, you’d be holding me again. 

Stars

When I went up to college 500 miles away, I brought a glow in the dark star for every mile that separated me from home.

 I’m sure my roommates thought I’m afraid of the dark: when I tried fitting them all up on the plywood that supported the bunk above me, it was so bright I couldn’t sleep.

 I’m not afraid of the dark.

 I’m afraid of getting lost, of not being able to find my way home. So I’ve always had glow in the dark stars in my room. They’re the first thing I see in the morning and the reassurance I need to go to sleep.

 When you asked what I was doing the day after I moved into my dorm and I told you that I was putting up 500 glow in the dark stars, you acted like that was the most normal thing in the world. I asked if you wanted a few, and you said yes.

I spent my second night away from home standing on your bed in almost complete silence, hanging my stars for you in a constellation on your ceiling.

 Not too long after that, I fell in love with you.

 It was so easy; I fell for you like the stars in your room fell when the adhesive wore out.

 And I knew you fell too when I noticed you slip one of the stars into the pocket of your favorite jacket. I never saw you take it out, and I’d occasionally see the outline of it against the thin material.

 God damn it, you were beautiful.

 We spent hours reading together, my feet in your socks, your head in my lap, my hands tangled in your hair.

You drew the maps in my head of this city with memories. Outlined the streets in conversations and cups of coffee, shaded the squares with the texture of your hand in mine. You once told me in a love letter that I’d never be alone, no matter what.

 And sometimes, you’d stretch your arms as wide as you could. I love you this much; you’d say dramatically, your eyes and smile comically wide and eyebrows lifted. I used to admire the span of your lanky arms, laughing with you over the idea that you could quantify love in a distance.

 I stopped laughing when I had to leave college in the spring, I got terribly sick, but we told each other it was OK, that our love was bigger than the miles that separated us.

But some time between spring and fall, you cut off all of your hair and lost the ability to look me in the eyes.

I still have love notes, photos and a few spare socks of yours. I loved you more than the span my fingertips can stretch, more than the miles, just like I promised.

I don’t know what to do with all this space, because all that’s left of your love for me fits in my two small hands. 

I still have problems sleeping sometimes. I get lost in this city without your ghost. 

 I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’d really appreciate it if you took that last star out of your pocket, because you’re carrying around a piece of my sky and no matter how many stars I put up, I haven’t been home in six months.

Yours is the first and only face I can draw from memory. 

An ability paid in a future of wasted blue and yellow, 

my paint and bruises displaying the debt

and attempts to find a green that isn’t owned by you. 

I spent hours memorizing you

To one day recite paper thin constructions, 

Excuses of how hazel isn’t vibrant

And how I should have been drawing from references

First scratchboard I ever did, from 2012.

First scratchboard I ever did, from 2012.

March 7th

It’s raining tonight and for a terrible few hours I just couldn’t remember the nickname you gave me. Its a seemingly mundane detail, but the thought that I’m still losing you without realizing it brought me lower than I’d been in months.

Fuck.

You loved me. Your love didn’t last. Now the memories are leaving too.

Oh god. Why the fuck can’t I remember?

I close my eyes and concentrate hard on the rain, running my hands along the texture of that pillowcase of yours that you left with me.

I keep them closed, block out the sounds of my tidy apartment complex and try to fill my mind only of room 314, the room that contained most of my happiness for a solid 6 months.

Curtains catching damp air from the open windows.

The smell of soap, coffee and clean laundry that always seemed to perfume the air around you.

My fingers lazily playing through your black hair, your head in my lap.

Matching cups of tea, black for you of course.

Your warm voice humming unconsciously, filling the room with a comforting glow.

You staring up at me as I concentrate on my reading and smile a pure smile of content. You loved the rain. Maybe you still do.

"Hi, noodle. You’re beautiful when your hair is a little wet like that"

Noodle. That was it, your name for me, from the time I called you a silly noodle.

"Thanks, socks"

Socks. You were like a grouchy old man when your socks didn’t match. You loved socks.

Maybe you still do.

I guess I don’t know you anymore and I can’t remember a lot of things, but I cant forget that you never told me why you gave up. 

So maybe you prefer sunshine and bare feet now. Maybe you take your coffee and tea with cream and sugar.  At one point I could have sworn that those were immutable facts, just like the fact that you loved me.

Maybe I had entire universe but at least we’ve got an abandoned water tower now. 

I want to talk about biding time.

About that person asleep next to you who is nice enough but will never be your love.

About the parade of people who’s names you’ll forget in ten years. 

About waiting all day to get off of work, waiting all week for the weekend, about waiting all year for summer. 

About mistakes made in the most responsible of ways. 

About lingering in fall because summer left and you’re scared of snow.  

You’re never more alive than when you can feel your heart breaking, but the surest and quickest way to die is to wait to live. 

Just walk away, you deserve to feel the cold. You deserve spring, you deserve all of this again and more.