i held you so tight
like i hadn’t already let you go.
take off my makeup and you
can see craters
illuminating my shadows.
but you don’t.
it’s like my war wounds look new to you
and i can’t keep explaining them away
in pretty lies.
you’ll never understand, or see.
so you hurry to the few remaining
patches of smooth ground
with your paper thin excuses for why
you won’t see.
only, the paper that holds my stories
is thick and full
and would cut you
deep, if i ran it over your skin.
collecting your pools of blood
isn’t the role i choose to bear now.
my injuries will not be covered over
by your pain any longer
and i don’t carry bandaids.
out of sheer exhaustion
i allowed you to
hold your version of me, tight,
expecting to be suffocated,
just a little more.
instead, i pretended
life hadn’t happened,
you hadn’t abandoned me,
i hadn’t fought hard
to let you go,
and i squeezed a little life
back into the hollow spaces between us.
only you’ll never allow yourself to see
into the cavities where it formed,
you cannot hold on to more than my veil
or feel it fully, see it whole.
and i have no survival left in me
to keep hold of this lapse of life,
so i watched it evaporate into the air
as i let it, you, go
i hope someone breathes in
this life, whole, tonight.