It hurts to breathe so I hold my breath and hope to deprive my brain of oxygen long enough that it forgets you. But that never works. With each inhale, replays of what you have done go in through my eyes and down to my chest and make a home in there. My body tries to fight this uninvited guest, like bodies do, but its a losing battle that only leaves me completely torn up from the inside out. 

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I wish I could take every path. It’s been a long, long time. How are you? 

My life has become a very painful thing. In honor of the nearing of the three year anniversary of the moment I met the syrupy eyed opera singer, I just need to reflect on that time in my life. There was no explanation why I changed three times before showing you the bar scene, you asked, “what’s there to do in this town?” And I said, “well do you drink?” And that began my nearly three month sabbatical into a beautiful, impossible love that had a certain expiration date. I loved you quick and I loved you deeply and it felt like there was no beginning because I loved you always. It’s weird. I’ve made some decisions now that I fear are going to give me perpetual pain if I don’t plan an escape soon. But in the early mornings, or when a certain song comes on, I think of you and how truly I wish it never had to end. You were one of my favorite loves and you tasted like tomatos and summer time and life. And the saddest thing was our exodus from the town in which we grew up. But I remember that night at Tammy Black’s house and how I loved you madly. I wish that never had to end, I would never have seen this much trauma and destruction if we could’ve stayed together. I think of you to remember that loving someone doesn’t have to hurt you. That being in a relationship shouldn’t be scary or painful. Thank you for reminding me of that, it gives me hope that I’ll find that again one day. 

 April 8th

Peter ate pumpkins and licked

his fingers clean before zipping

up his pants. He did many other things

in the dark, under sheets, on a first

name basis, illuminated by

a synthetic glow.

When he arrived home his

smile was tarnished, orange

pumpkin strings laced between

his teeth.

 

Get the wine out of my mouth  cause there’s a drought

where my tongue used to be.

So easy out by the sidewalk

as if it had seemed free.

Lay your guilt so that

you might get sleep.

You will hurt anything

just to feel clean.

Occasionally, 

I think about the time i loved a person in secret, on church steps, and packs of cigarettes. While learning to drive and hungry eyes and sniffing things of tables and mirrors. I’d throw things out windows and we’d go on long walks. I think about it on gloomy mornings. I just really loved them and I don’t know if they ever really understood that. I don’t know if they know that I loved them, not because I wanted an escape, or because I needed it at that time, I loved them because I felt it in my soul. I felt it in my bones. 

I lost my virginity in April, when I was 17. Which is much different than the story I tell people. I don’t tell this story because I don’t consider it my first time, though factually speaking, I suppose it was. It was premeditated and clandestine and in the front seat of a red Volkswagen Jetta. We didn’t even kiss. I was wearing my t-shirt from way back when I played t-ball. I had actually arranged this meeting myself, a week before. He was my “best friend” and I asked him if we could copulate so it wouldn’t hurt when I had sex with someone who I actually liked. Yes I used the word “copulate” because this was all strictly physics for me. Anyone who knows me well should not be surprised by any of this. He picked me up right as it was beginning to get dark and we drove around aimlessly for a while, though he swore he knew a good spot. Finally the tires pressed themselves heavily against small rocks and dirt and the car wobbled on it’s axel as we ascended a long gravel driveway into a wooded area. I remember this part the most. It just so happened that we were actually in the car parking lot of the town’s public pool. And then it just happened. We didn’t even kiss and I asked him to just put it in, and he did, and it hurt so I asked him to stop. And that was that. I asked him to take me home, and I didn’t put anything inside of me again until a year and three months later.