this is an ode to the broken-hearted.
for those early days when the ground is unsteady and you are still measuring your worth by their absence instead of the staggering truth of your own presence.
this is a poem to hold you until you are steady enough to hold yourself.
when she finally leaves, you will not want to let her go.
when she finally leaves, you will not be ready.
no matter that you thought you were fine
no matter that you thought you were moving on
and even healing and shit.
sometimes the heart plays tricks like that
when she leaves you’ll know better.
and no matter how much control you like to wield
over the proper folding of the towels
and the direction the toilet paper goes on the roll.
you won’t get to have a say in this one.
you’ll want to think that you’ll handle it with grace
but you won’t.
you’ll ugly cry.
you’ll drink too many whiskeys and not eat near enough food.
you’ll beg. and plead and send ill-advised texts and show up at her doorstep
unannounced and uninvited
your hopeful heart an earthquake, ready to take the house down to the foundations
you will not drive away happy.
you will drive right over your heart, splayed on the hot august pavement.
you will drive away not knowing if you will see her again.
when you get back to your apartment
make yourself some tea. add honey
you need to learn to give sweetness to yourself now
play all the songs that speak her name
sink into the sad like it’s the only home you’ve ever known
you’ll be living here a while
you might as well make friends with it.
don’t try to convince people you are trying to forget
when you are determined to not to let go.
when you’ve got a box tucked beside your bed
filled with two and a half years of love notes
and a hell of a lot of empty space
it’s okay to hold on for a little while
demons are not exorcized overnight.
but just a warning
what comes next is not going to be easy.
soon you’re going to have to forget her phone number
forget her birthday
forget the way she smiled at you first thing in the morning.
the way she said ‘sleep good’ and you bit your lip every time to keep from correcting her.
the way she poured a whole mug of coffee and barely drank any of it.
your memories will play tricks on you anyways
turning ordinary moments into magic.
and right now is no time for magic.
right now is time for hard truth
and tough love.
it will take a few times of ignoring good advice before the hurt is
deep enough for you to listen
please remember to be kind to yourself
i know you don’t want to hear this
but stop texting her.
everyone will agree with this.
they will say that if you need to – you should get a journal and write your love letters there.
where she will never see them.
better yet. write them on your own skin and let them wash away in the shower
somethings were never meant to stay forever.
listen when they tell you that you are romanticizing things
listen when they tell you that it’s all for a reason
listen when they tell you that it’s for the best.
it doesn’t matter if it’s true right now
it just matters if you can believe it long enough to get through the night.
change the playlist
change your favorite coffee shop
change the sheets
you deserve cloth that doesn’t hold the memory of her skin.
bolt the doors
stop waiting for the sound of her knock
it is not coming
she is not coming.
do you hear me – she is not coming.
walk alone at night and remember how safe you used to feel.
make the food she never liked to eat.
don’t go to the grocery store near her unless you know she’s at work
it’s too early to risk a run in with a ghost.
make new memories.
make new friends.
get a tattoo
get another dog
go dancing. go to the ocean. go to sleep earlier.
god knows, our bones could all use a little more rest.
for real this time
stop trying to cram your heart into the hands of girls with clenched fists
stop trying to cram your heart into the hands of girls with open palms
there’s safe space somewhere between holding on too tightly and letting things blow away in the breeze.
someday you’ll learn this.
but or now, don’t even think of trying to give yourself to the next girl you see
she deserves better than your heart in pieces
she deserves better than your mouth still shaped into an echo of the past
and anyway, it’s time to stop being afraid of your own company
and cry as much as you need to
it’s okay to be all the way broken.
that’s the only way to let the grief do its holy work
so go ahead
cry so much that the rivers flood the oceans
and the forecasters announce that the drought is over
and then be done crying.
steady up girl
you are way better than this