Even If

You are not the
first boy I’ve found myself
falling in love with
and you may not
be the last.
For all we know
you’re just another
stop along my way.

You know about the first
but you don’t know
that he had
grey eyes and
red-brown hair
and a bad knee
because his ex’s ex
stepped on it
on purpose
because my ex was
being the hero
protecting the girl.

All you know is
he broke my heart
which broke me
and I’m still
picking up the pieces
the pieces you’re
afraid to touch
for fear of
making the damage
worse.

No matter how many
times I tell you
you can’t break me
like he did
you hold onto
your uncertainty
and the memories of
people in your own past
a hair’s breadth
away from falling apart
and you let them
tell you to
be wary.

Which is why we’re
just friends
but you can never be
just friends
when you’re falling in love
but you can never be
more
if only one of you
is falling.

So you are not
my past
and I don’t know if you’ll be
my future
but you are my present.
The past and future
are fuzzy.
The present is the only
clarity we have
and in this present I am
falling in love with you
just a little more
every day
and I am
happy to be falling
even if I’m falling alone
even if it’s just
for now.

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The Five Stages After You

1. Denial
For months
I told myself
you’d come back
lied and said
I was okay
to the people who
love me
to myself.

2. Bargaining
I kept wishing
for one more message
one that would
bring you back to me
and take the pain away
I said I could
live with goodbye
if only you’d
come back to
say it.

3. Depression
I was lost
I didn’t know
what to think anymore
everything took
too much effort
I let myself
be alone
and let my fear of
the darkness without you
paralyze me.

4. Acceptance
I thought it was over
I met someone new
who helped me
back to the
sunshine I was
before you left
and I’m still
more okay
than I was

5. Anger
But things aren’t perfect
I still have
wounds
that haven’t fully healed
and I’m angry
at the anxiety you left me
the only thing you
really ever gave me
because I feel weak
helpless
and it’s keeping me from
completely moving on.

6. ?
I’m not sure
where I’m going
from here
I’m happier now
than perhaps I’ve
ever been
but I know I
could be happier
perhaps if it
weren’t for you.
I don’t regret the
time and love
I gave you
but I
can’t help but wonder
what if?

Mockingbirds

My insecurities plague me
pecking at my mind
like mockingbirds
imitating the calls
of thoughts I
had in passing
making them
echo in my head.

I think I will
let them feast
on what’s left of my sanity
so that perhaps I can
go back to thinking
everything is okay
and truly believe it again.

Billy Joel

The kitchen is warm
the smell of spices
wafting from a large pot on the stove
Billy Joel crooning from the stereo
under the cupboard as you hold my hands
And so it goes…

My thoughts drift to you
and the nights we spent
dancing on this kitchen floor
swaying to the sounds of
Billy Joel singing soft and low
And you’re the only one who knows…

My brother’s in this kitchen now
the stove is cold, the spices gone
he holds me close, calls you my mistake
but he doesn’t understand as Billy Joel sings
And you can have this heart to break.