The problem is how well you remember the smell of his hair, those late Friday nights when you both resented sleep because there was too much to do and never enough time to spend with each other. Then 3 am came crawling in but it didn’t hurt like it used to, as if his old t-shirt suddenly became armour and none of your old demons could reach you while he was there. You couldn’t resist indulging in the temporary solace before the devil found you again to extend the curse. Each time he caught you a little later, just as you begin to think you’re safe, each time he cuts a little deeper because you have nothing left to trade. You know even if he stayed he wouldn’t have been able to save you. You designed this path and now you tread alone on thin ice, no one to reach you if you fall through.
But you know as well as I do that what separates us isn’t just distance. We created chains and walls with our words, and now we suffer the aftermath of misspoken anger. You know that saying, sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Whoever said that must have been too dim to understand them. Words don’t leave the sort of wounds that can be mended. They leave bruises and scars in our minds. Broken bones heal over time but broken hearts…they hurt forever.
I don’t need to hold your hand to break it. I don’t need to touch your skin to leave bruises. I don’t need to hurt her too to prove a point. I choose not to be as cruel as you. I just hope one day I’ll have nothing left to write. If the pain ever becomes too much at least I’ll burn down like fireworks. If you never learn to love again at least I’ll know I was the one who tried to teach you. If this is the ending to our story, at least we broke each other in beautiful ways.
With his hands around my waist I no longer feel the burden of your touch. Every kiss takes away some of the pain you left behind, and soon you’ll just be a blur of wasted promises. When he tells me I’m the sweetest it won’t taste like passion but his lies won’t bother me because yours got there first. All the leftover pieces of our could-have-beens scattered before me like the cigarettes I smoked in his living room, they burned and burned, leaving ashes everywhere. I sat there and smiled at him, pretending he was you, pretending it didn’t hurt to be lied to.
I’m still waiting for the day I hear a love song and no longer think of your face. I just need one poem that doesn’t remind me of you, darling, please write one for me, save me today.