Orbits.

I wanted you to contact me. I wanted us to cave again, even if it meant distance and heartbreak and confusion again. That was better than longing for something I cannot see.

No, it’s not fair, and yes, everything would have to change, but it’d be worth every ounce of trouble for me to have you.

The way I felt about you made me question if I ever loved before. And living beyond my time with you was like watching a shooting star blaze by in the night sky and then watching the void just for a glimpse of something more miraculous to come.

I don’t know how to handle my life without the light you gave me. As my life screams signs pointing to you, I wonder if your life returns arrows in my direction.

I closed this chapter with you. I thought it was over and my lesson learned, but what if your orbit centers near me? What would we do if our star illuminated the world? What if we could see and it was all clear?

Aches.

It was an old ache. An old, rumbling, roaring noise of an ache. The kind of war-wound type of ache you only know exists if you live through the pain and it’s slight recovery from the living hell of your life to the feeling that lingers and acts up when the weather does.

You were that ache. You left me different and there’s no denying it, and I wish you hadn’t, but you did.

Like the thunder of a summer storm, I felt the pain shuttering throughout my body. It started in the cavity of my chest and burned slowly to my throat, to my knees, and out to my extremities.

I watched my body decay to my feelings for you and acknowledged my embarrassment to myself when I admitted it resurfaced. I missed you, and there was nothing I could do to fix this old wound without gashing it wide open.

And that’s where I stand now. Wounded, but living. Living, but aching.

Green.

Green are the eyes cast back at me
like ones in my reflection,
but lighter,
and darker
around the center.

Brunette is the hair I grasp
just as before,
but not any as soft,
nor any I palm and lift with her head
so gracefully

As I do,
a smile so contagious
comes across your face,
and a farce remains on mine
until you break me

With those eyes
and that hair
and that smile,
I smile.

Silence

Ambient sound is so loud. Wherever I went in college I was followed by this unplaceable, yet greatly present something. From the clap of excitement the moment my parents’ car door opened on move-in day freshman year, to our collective roar during the cap toss at commencement, there was no moment I stopped to recognize silence. For other reasons, it continued for years after college as well.

I had fun, and there were times I was stopped in my tracks during those four years, but it was never in a way that made me rethink silence. Even on nights I’d stay in and watch my apartment door close to muffled laughs as my friends left for the bar, there was some kind of noise. Maybe it was a pregame continuing next door, students outside speaking low, or even the building humming, I had noise all around me.

It might be something only I think about, but when I was a kid I remember jumping in the pool and hearing distorted sound waves through the water. It was new, and foreign, and something about it was attractive. I’d swim from pool-end to pool-end listening to the low frequencies and wondering what caused them. To hear a jumbled flush and recognize it was someone jumping in… it was like learning another language.

I wasn’t obsessed, but I enjoyed the newness of it. I’d be happily reminded of its existence when I unintentionally submerged both ears under the showerhead – reminding me of warmer, care-free times, but nothing… nothing prepared me to the moment it all went noiseless.

It lasted for maybe two seconds, but after countless years of noise, the moment you made my world quiet was unforgettable. This was the first moment of silence I’ve felt in… I can’t tell you how long.

The earth stood still, but the memory is combined with this image of you in my head. You were invincible—bounding in front strangers and coming to a stop in front of me, beaming. I blame my tired efforts to make you find me in a crowd, and yet, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I, stupid me, was iffy about the date and you hushed hundreds of people for two full seconds. The silence you fostered became my new language.

And now that moment plays on repeat – the whole night, actually. I can’t explain why. Maybe it was the confidence you had to take my hand at the bar, or arm in the street, but it warmed me in a neglected spot. The sound was there when it happened, but thinking back, it’s just me looking at you. Your fingers bound in mine, or the tightness between us as we walked on that cold night.

It was all silent, roaring in color.

The Letter.

Possibly one of the most paramount realizations a person can make is to continually recognize who they have been in life. For you and me, this might mean acknowledging your faults and merits, what experiences forged you, understanding why you liked, loved, tolerated, or hated another. We become who we are because of who we have been.

None of us live easy lives. I have stresses that keep me up at night, but I am cursed, and fortunate as hell, that the greatest in the forefront of my head is love.

This sounds stupid, and that’s because life is often stupid. Similar to some who concern themselves with making money, or experiencing as much of the world as possible, I find myself searching for that once in a lifetime, makes you weak all over, endless love. The trouble is, if I think it’s in one place, I’ll tirelessly see it through. Love is a learning experience.

I am fortunate to have loved. Hindsight can grant anyone the ability to comment on their past with, “Well, that was stupid…” but as long as that progressed you along, it couldn’t have been too stupid.

This leads to the interesting part. A glimpse into the deepest part of me; the letter I sent to a woman I loved. I don’t feel the same now, but I had never accurately described my feelings so fittingly in a given moment before. My ex granted me permission to share this. I think I appreciate most that despite not being in each other’s lives anymore, we continue to respect how much we grew in our time together.

Nevertheless, this is what I felt and this is what helped me become who I am.

“To that woman, 14 months ago-

I’ve been told at first impression I’m hard to read. I believe it, not because my book is closed—it’s wide open. It’s the small font that deceives. I don’t display my thoughts on billboards, however, the more a person reads in, the more massive the details on my pages grow. Larger and larger, until I burst from the ink and into the sky. All things I know and feel, written by six Angels sweeping clouded calligraphy in their wakes above.

See, I was that high in love. A book on the brink of the stratosphere. You depleted my fuel and now I am in mayday. No parachute you bestow may grace my fall. I must plunge to Earth and shatter; shedding my chapters across the land. I can only hope those who love me are those who collect me, for I cannot do it alone, but must not do it with you.

It was easier to let go when you weren’t here, and I write this when you are still an ocean away. I can’t be your friend right now. If you recall, when we moved to “friends” from “whatever more we were” the first time, I was upset, you were upset, I got jealous when you dated, and you got jealous when I did. I don’t know how your brain works; how you love me, but won’t love me enough to be with me. However, I know we’re creatures of habit, and I will shatter more than I can fathom when you choose to date other people. Maybe you will when I do too, but mine will be worse, and I know this because despite the hell you’ve placed me in, I would choose you at any time of my life because I love you. It’s that easy for me. But I need to be wanted as more than how you want me, despite whatever love you offer. To me, love is simple because it’s love. It’s not meant to be overthought, nor does it have to make sense. You fall into it, and you feel it, and that’s what you give each other. It’s not a phase, it’s almost never perfect, and sometimes it’s fucking hard, but if at the end you can say you love and were loved back… that’s worth the pain existence has to offer.

As I think of them now, this is not a letter to remind you of all the things we’d planned to do and state how terrible you are for abandoning me with empty promises. They were all the things that would have thrown us deeper into life together, and if we were not meant to be, I’m happy to think of them as reserves in my system. The last remaining parts of me and memories I did not give to you.

I’ve always thought that love and kindness are things you can infinitely give. I have with you. I listened, I cared, and with that, I reminded you what it means to live. Like a fledgling, I’ve pushed you out of the nest so you may fly and now with your wings spread you no longer need me to live. Only, I’m drained and without you there is no way for me to feel full, and that’s my lesson in all of this: loving does not guarantee the love you desire in return.

My brain is still playing every move over again, wondering if there is a way to resolve all this, but you can’t be soft with me. You can’t let me hold on to something that’ll only hurt me. I hate wanting you, but someone out there can love me, and you have to let me find her. As much as I don’t want to give you this letter, as much as I want to wake up with you every morning for every foreseeable morning there is… I must.

I’m sorry you can’t love me the way I need you to. It would have been too good. Better than I’ve ever experienced. I will always have a place for you in my heart.

Endlessly,

Amanda”

This letter remains the most fluid description of my head onto paper. I remember the strokes of pen to paper writing this. I also remember growing past the pain. I moved on, then fell back, got stuck in a few places, but persisted. I’m stronger for sending this letter and living through the consequences of its wake. This is all a journey, and even if something feels childish, maybe it was. Maybe that’s what you needed to feel for a better you tomorrow.

Fixated on Water

I’m sorry if I approached you like a wave –
crashing at your feet as you stared beyond me.
All I wanted as I reached at your skin
was to feel you want me around you again.

But that’s not what worked and I aimed to drown.
I pushed and pulled and you’re sinking down.

You got stuck in my tide with the changing day,
that’s what we get, for I’m a tidal wave.