Melissa

Our ceiling has an outlet. Every time I tip my head back and look up, I can see it. And who knows how long it’s been there. And who cares really?

Because you aren’t here. And it’s not funny to see it when you’re not here with me to laugh about it.

When the shower-head exploded last week and I had to call the landlord to replace it and the woman from the apartment downstairs came up to knock on the door to tell me the water had dripped down through her ceiling, it wasn’t funny. When I fell asleep curled up uncomfortably on your grandmother’s tiny Italian couch, my feet and head hanging off either end, that wasn’t funny either. Not even when a boy was singing and playing his guitar under my window, almost as if he was serenading me but most likely he was drunkenly serenading the night. Nor when I saw the apples you left in the fridge wrinkling like pitiful little balloons, losing all their air and collapsing into themselves.

You didn’t knock on my bedroom door to tell me to get up. To ask me if I wanted to go for breakfast at that breakfast place we always go to with the most delicious home-fries and your favourite blueberry jam.

You didn’t take over the kitchen with all your dishes, your 90’s dance party music blasting through the apartment, waking me up and then lulling me back to sleep because when you’re here I feel safe enough to sleep.

I feel safe when you’re here, you know?

I know if I feel the sadness well up in my throat, I can open your bedroom door, lie on your bed with you and not have to say anything.

I know if I need to be outside, you’ll come with me and I won’t feel so aimless and lost just walking around like I do when I’m by myself.

I know I can talk to you about anything and maybe you won’t approve of some of the crap that I pull because you want the best for me,┬ábut you’ll be supportive anyway.

I know that sometimes I feel sad even when you’re here but that you’re my best friend in this whole wide world and when you’re not around I’m less.

I’m less than me.

heart break

my heart is going to take a break, okay?
Because
my heart is dead tired

and has nowhere left to go

my heart is wrung out

and no longer seeks love

out

no more flutters

no more trying to match

beat to beat

The synchronized dance

is dead

and my heart has exhausted

all its hopes for more

Than this

vagabond

nothing feels like home

nothing feels safe

 

like permanent ink

scrubs away with soap

even this skin I wear

stretches thin facade

too tight

and I need scars to remind me

 

of where I am

and who I was

 

people who were forever

got lost somewhere

traces of them left

where I’d rather not

remember

 

and nothing feels right because

 

a desert has settled

where my heart should bleed

and I am unforgiving

 

unknowingly cruel

I am a pair of dry eyes

dry lips

parched

for some sense

of the familiar

 

but the restlessness

inside me

picks up her feet

and keeps walking

 

ever in search

of oasis

I was right, wasn’t I?

I was right

I was right to end it

this is what I say aloud

this is what I tell myself

as I curl into

the creaky mattress

and remember the times

you were here

 

listen for your familiar

tread on the stairs still

a knock on my door

 

I strain in the silence

to listen

and feel

you again

 

even if it’s right

what I’ve done

I ache

 

because it feels

wrong

the invisible sad

you don’t see this, of course

 

but sometimes it’s so hard and

I force myself to cry

until my throat is raw and red

fluttering

like ribbon

 

hoping to wash it away

but there is no drain;

it just collects

 

and you don’t know

 

how fragile I’ve always been

news flash:

same old same

heartbreak

in every fist I make to keep it in

keep the sad locked up

quiet

shush you

 

lips closed

but trembling and

always on the verge

of telling

but I won’t

I can’t

 

I know better than

to disturb the facade that is

all of us going through

the motions by which we’re

so easily

convinced

of each other

 

you can look for the sad

but you won’t see it,

of course

 

because I bury it

so deep

all you notice

is the smile

which I draw on with lipstick

to make you more

comfortable to be

around me

 

and you continue

blissfully unaware

 

but you don’t know

you don’t know, of course

that the sad

never stops

missing you

I miss you, and I’m filling those empty places you usually inhabit

inside of me
beside me

with wine and conversations
with people who look over my shoulder when they talk to me

friends who are suddenly too busy
too far to give me a moment
for despair

they don’t want to hear
how I’ve been gutted by your absence

and how the bloody tracks I leave behind in the bathtub don’t
quite appease my pain

Instead I’m told: chin up
and smile so
I’m shrugging off the feeling of wrong that keeps echoing
off the walls
in all the places
in which you aren’t
but I have to be

my sharp angles brittle and unwelcoming, and the softness giving way to the wasting

the wasting away
of a me
without you

I don’t like myself this way

and if you saw

you wouldn’t like me either

see you at our reunion, bitch

is it fair that tormentors get

happy endings in the form of

symmetrical wedding photography where

her teeth are so white and clean in her smile

you’d never imagine she was so full of

shit

 

look at that evil bitch’s happiness

look so gooey sweet

 

and I don’t want to hurt her myself

but shouldn’t the universe hurt her or something?

 

where is that bad karma lurking and when will it

come to fruition

burst inside her like a ripe appendix

with a message from me saying

this is what you get

 

for fucking me up all those years ago

 

giving me sleepless nights and so much self-hate

I filled notebooks with blood-red ink

might as well have been bleeding

 

leaving me breathless and choking at the thought of

speaking

voice trapped in a box of shame and

a body bent to hide my ugliness which was said

to be buried right into the color of my skin

and even the shape of my shadow unsightly

 

tear tracks dried on my face

I was a clown

to her

at ten years old

 

staring at bridges and trains and knives with

the deepest yearning

 

her laughing into my face and telling me to go ahead and

die

 

well, I’m not dead

surprise surprise surprise

there I go

surprising us all, myself included

 

so see you at our reunion, bitch

 

where I hope to smile

because I’m too happy

to care anymore

 

(your misery an added bonus)

I’m not good at this

when it’s just me here

that’s when I get the most fearful of doing something

touch-and-go

 

left to my own devices

who knows what ways I’ll come up with

to hurt myself

 

people see me outside and think I’m okay

oh so well put-together this facade of

mine eyes hold lies

treachery untold

 

left on my own, I unravel

 

I sink into my bed and glaze over

at the ceiling

melting away until I feel cadaverous

and only then

do I notice what’s happening

 

I know I’m waiting for somebody else to stop me

look, this is self-sabotage

and I’m so quiet as I spiral

 

I lose words in the fog

 

I forget

basic

function

 

I forget

myself

 

because

 

I no longer know

what the fucking point is