Worn

I fell into something familiar
and like the last go,
it ended in
abrupt
explosive
and repetetive
goodbyes.

The familiar no longer
felt like
a warm fireplace.
It burned my
skin
and I turned to look
to something
cooling.

Something healing.

I fell into something familiar
those two years ago.

This time,
I walk into something
new.

Changing tides

I see the water meet the sky’s edge 
I expand, here.
I take in what's changed
what's remained.

I remember the moments 
I came to her shore 
seeking something other 
than what was,
seeking answers. 

Today
I come to her 
with a new request. 

Her waves sing 
and I ask for witness
as I recognize 
my own growth. 

I seek her
expanding memory 
so that when I forget
she’ll remind me
 
that tides change 
and so do I. 

In joy

What 
is joy
compared to
a lasting
ache

In joy
I lack the
preoccupation
the restless attachment
the wondering if
my feelings are matched
or returned at all

In joy
all I have
is the way
you leaned in to kiss me

The memory of standing
in the stairwell
you held my gaze
you held me
to share you’re not
dating anyone else

All I have
are the hands
that didn’t let go of mine
from that first kiss
in the middle of your kitchen

I’m not sure how to write
in joy

But I can try.

living room floor

I kept my winter coat wrapped around me like it would be taken from me. Walking into your house, I could taste the lingering cigarette smoke. When the silence felt suffocating, we tried humor. Finally you asked for what we both knew I would not, perhaps could not, give. My feeling of resolve demanded my attention. I became aware that this time, this meeting, could not be kept afloat from half of myself given to you. I could not offer pieces and call that love. In that moment on the floor of the room where we both built and collapsed it was decided there would be no last time. I took responsibility for my own feelings. I took my healing seriously.

Almost as if we planned it, memories of the last 2 years played before us in the realization that I would no longer fit, these were patterns I could not sustain. I remembered the day you bought this house and we stained the floor and installed a new rug that we now baptize with the remnants of grief. We opened the door, gutted the house and attempted to restore what we could. As I went to leave, I did not look back in your direction. I left the key on the kitchen table. I left us on the living room floor.

Shoreline

Paused,
I stood on the boardwalk
unsure of how close
to the Atlantic's edge
I could allow 
my planted feet.

I slept on the beach
as the sun drifted
to horizon
and I still
could not touch my
body to the 
water.

I knew then
that if I 
sought peace
at the shoreline
I would find myself there.

Yearning and sad.
Emptying what 
came before 
and making space
for the new.

Unsure if I could
continue grieving
what came and went,
what did not
happen.

The shoreline contained
both open and closed ends
of whatever it is
that led me to the ocean water.

The shore revealed
all parts of me
alone and seeking
something other
than the company
of my own mind.

And so I left
the ocean
and its company
a day early
because I was not ready
to hold
what its waters
led me
to face.