leaving is not enough; you must
stay gone. train your heart
like a dog. change the locks
even on the house he’s never
visited. you lucky, lucky girl.
you have an apartment
just your size. a bathtub
full of tea. a heart the size
of Arizona, but not nearly
so arid. don’t wish away
your cracked past, your
crooked toes, your problems
are papier mache puppets
you made or bought because the vendor
at the market was so compelling you just
had to have them. you had to have him.
and you did. and now you pull down
the bridge between your houses,
you make him call before
he visits, you take a lover
for granted, you take
a lover who looks at you
like maybe you are magic. make
the first bottle you consume
in this place a relic. place it
on whatever altar you fashion
with a knife and five cranberries.
don’t lose too much weight.
stupid girls are always trying
to disappear as revenge. and you
are not stupid. you loved a man
with more hands than a parade
of beggars, and here you stand. heart
like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas.
heart leaking something so strong
they can smell it in the street.
– Marty McConnell
we haven’t talked in a few weeks, but it’s been over for months. he won’t be the next to call and it seems i won’t/can’t call now either. there’s nothing new to say. it’s undoubtedly over and yet…
i keep rereading the love letters, chats, emails – 880 in one year, looking for the lessons to be learned. instead, it just makes me fall back in love with him. then i go to sleep alone, blurry eyed, lungs tight, and have to break myself from him all over again overnight.
what have i failed to learn from this year? how did we allow our attachment to stitch our two selves together over so much when he wasn’t going to be there? he says he never stopped loving me and it appears i love him still. in truth, i still love anyone i’ve ever really loved. but, christ, this one hurt extraordinarily. this has been a wrenching year and the times i was devastated by this cruel, perfect man outnumbered the pleasures. what drives me mad still is how little sense it makes. how did we manage to get so entwined if we wanted such different things? how did it all fall apart if we had all these passions still strong? how am i here on this other side feeling whip-lashed by his love and indifference, unable to see how far back i turned the wrong way? how does a person love without wanting? risk without trusting?
of course the reason that i won’t call is because there’s someone else. or three. i’ve given the dating sites three busy months. it’s diverting, sure, but it’s honest. this is what we do. we pack up our hearts, stand up straight, and attempt some grace as we give it another go. i am amazed at the honesty, charm, and effort i’ve found in particular dates. it’s a sweet salve and while dating is itself a precarious task, it serves many desires and demands the audacity we broken hearts need to find to wake up again tomorrow. i’ve been overwhelmed and swept up in the delight of others who seem to want my time and attention and appreciate whatever it is that makes me appealing to strangers.
this grief is so tricky. he didn’t die. he didn’t leave again as far as i know. he’s there. so close and alive and living his life exactly as before, just with a space beside him that used to hold me. there aren’t condolences. i don’t feel allowed to just be sad. it’s an expectation that i find revenge, that i account his wrongs, that i regret. i can’t do any of those things. i just … won’t. so i’m looking for the growth, the point, the mercy. trying to be wiser, stronger, and braver than before.
a man in the line of the new york headed hurricane is pulling on my thoughts and time and i’m trying very hard to enjoy how incredible it feels to want someone who wants me back. but instead, i press my breast and think, “god, is this going to hurt.” it’s a pale form of ptsd.
here’s to another go in one direction and staying gone in the other.
see? don’t ever think this isn’t a personal blog. in the lines of the poems are the lessons i need. thank you, mcconnell. this one hit.