almost sunset

When the sun is about to set

and your face is illuminated

with an orange-yellow glow

and the world around us is, too

and the grass is green,

the flowers are blooming,

the smell of spring is in the air;

we have made it through winter.

relax

The window open,

a newly cleaned room,

a cup of tea

cooling on the windowsill.

With nothing left to do today,

I relax and enjoy

the smell of nature,

the sunshine peeking in,

my cup of tea,

and a good book.

“foolish,” you’ll say, and I’ll agree

And someday we’ll find ourselves in different places, in different homes, with different lovers and we’ll decide to reconnect. Maybe we’ll see each other on the street, or someone will mention something that reminds us of each other, and we’ll reach out and we’ll reconnect.

You’ll tell me about how you’re happier now than you ever thought you could be. I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to and you’ll listen. We’ll make jokes and remember what it was like when we were once so close. We’ll wonder why we ever drifted apart, conveniently forgetting what happened between us that day when we thought the world would end. And I remembered it for a while, and I cried for a while, but I got over it, and I got over you.

But it wasn’t like I didn’t think about you, and it wasn’t like I didn’t look for you when I went by your old house. You told me you moved two years ago. I’ll say, “has it really been that long?” and you’ll say, “it’s been six years, man.” And I’ll feel sad. And you’ll feel sad. And we’ll agree to stay in touch, but I’ll tell you I’m only in town this week then I’m going back to the city, and you’ll look at me like you’re proud, and I’ll feel like crying.

And in that moment, I won’t be able to even think about what broke us apart. I remembered us staying friends for a long time. And we were there for each other through everything. And somewhere along the way, we separated.

We’ll be reminiscing about our conversations and I’ll be surprised by how many details I remembered, and then I’ll remember that we stopped talking because of something so stupid and so trivial that I laugh out loud in the coffee shop. And you’ll ask me what I’m laughing for and I’ll tell you. And you’ll look at me, chuckle once, and shake your head.

“Foolish,” you’ll say, and I’ll agree.

and I thought it was funny

and I thought it was funny at the time

the way you tore down everything I built

and I remember I laughed

when I caught you in yet another lie

and I remember thinking

I’d be better with you in my life

well

then why am I thriving now?

platonic

And I remember thinking back on the night you left. And I remember thinking I was glad. But I wasn’t glad, I just didn’t know how to feel so sad. So broken. And the months that followed, I felt sad, and I felt broken, and I made mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes trying to get over what you put me through. And I thought that would be the end of it. And it mostly was, but then I realized I’m a year into this new relationship which started way too soon, and I don’t even like the guy. I don’t know what compelled me to ask him out. Or why I was on Tinder so soon after my last heartbreak. But I was and I didn’t want to be. I tried to end it, and I fell for other people while we dated, and I made more mistakes, but I never felt complete. I didn’t realize at the time and I would come to realize in the year after I left him, but I didn’t need someone else to feel complete. And that’s not something anyone could’ve told me, either. That’s something I had to realize the hard way. After five years of basically back-to-back dating people I barely cared about, and all I really needed was a few close friends. And to care about myself. I didn’t need love. And sure, love is great, and I wouldn’t turn it down were it presented to me now, but there’s more than just romantic love. And I think platonic love is beautiful in its own way. I think friends, true friends, would walk to the ends of the earth for each other. And I think true friends would be there for each other when they needed each other. And maybe it was the guys I was dating, but I never thought they’d do that for me. And my friends, I know they’d do that for me.

molting

There are days

I’d rather sit in silence

than talk about our problems

than talk about our days

I go silent

I’ve always been

floating in and out of people

in and out of obscurity

of consciousness

It’s like I’m molting

the way I completely change

when I drift in and out of

people

obscurity

consciousness

but I’m not so sure anyone else notices

because they’re busy wondering

where I am

because I disappear

for months at a time

only to come back to say

hey

how’ve you been

it’s been a while

and repeat.

a diner on a Wednesday at midnight

They sat across from each other in a vacant diner at midnight, high out of their minds, and pancakes in front of them. The pancakes, had the couple been sober, were bad. They sucked. No one comes here and orders the pancakes, especially not in the middle of the night. But to them, two stoned 21-year-olds, they were the best pancakes they’d ever had.

The man, tall, about six foot, unshaven, stomach just about reaching the table in front of him from where he sat back on the booth, made a joke about the pancakes and the woman, despite her best efforts, laughed. She didn’t think the joke was funny, in fact it might’ve even been the worst joke she’d ever heard, but she had the social obligation to act like she cared about him.

And he thought she cared. He was so certain that she cared because he lied so flawlessly whenever she came close to catching him. He was so convinced no one would ever catch his lies; he’s been doing it his whole life, at this point change his name to Lyin’ Brian. And she didn’t want to believe he would deceive her like he did. He was so nice, and so caring, how could someone be so heartless?

So, she had her suspicions and he had his bad jokes, and together they had bad decisions. They both thought they were made for each other, how silly that seems to them now. Because when it came down to it, she could only manage a laugh with him when she smoked, and he could only exist in the world when he did. And what kind of life is that?

a man who cared for everyone but himself

I once knew a man who cared for everyone but himself. He would walk to the ends of the earth for his friends, but he wouldn’t do a thing for himself. And people tried to make him care about himself, I tried to make him care, but it was hopeless. I wasn’t sure he knew how to care for himself and that made me sad. And he couldn’t wrap his head around how that made me sad, and I never expected him to because I knew how he was.

He was selfless and he thought that made him good. But he would drink his problems away and couldn’t understand how that hurt me, too. He would invite me over to watch over him while he drank and I tried to get him to stop, but it was no use trying because he did what he wanted and he would never listen to me if the advice was about his own safety.

And I cared for him. I cared for him more than I’d ever cared for anyone. And he knew that, or at least he knew part of that. I cared for him because he was good. He had good intentions, at least usually or when it came to his friends.

And I tried for so long to write something for him, but I could never get it right. Because it’s all so complex and I could never put it all into words. Maybe if I was given more words, I could explain what it is I feel for him. But for now, I’ll say I care.

Okay again

It was the smell of spring that brought me back,

it was the heat radiating off the gravel.

It was the first time I remembered how to smile

after my final breakdown last winter.

It was the feeling of knowing things will work out

despite not knowing how to get there.

It was the relief after the weight in my chest lifted,

I’ll be okay and nothing can stop that.

dysfunctional

I felt a wide variety of things that night,

drove home with a smile on my face but

a sinking feeling in my stomach that told

me to run. This was nothing but bad news

and I knew it. And I was sick of how many

times this had happened. And I was sick

of always letting it happen. But on I went

to make another bad decision. And the only

conclusion I can come to with all this is I

like being upset. Is that why I stay? Is that

why I can’t seem to let you go? Because I

like being sad? Or is it because I’m hoping

you’ll change? Or I’m hoping I’ll change you.

Or I’m hoping someday we end up working

and we can laugh and roll our eyes at all the

pain we put each other through. But I don’t

want that. I don’t want you. I just want pain.

So I guess I want you.