i thumb through the pages of our old life.
on the pages
where i’ve folded over the top corner.
to revisit those memories again.
ten y fan.
non-descript evenings spent listening to music, drinking red wine and putting the world to rights.
but i can’t keep doing it.
romanticising the past.
religiously reading back over the pages of the life we once shared.
those chapters are closed now. i know.
and i need to move on. i know.
the more i thumb through the old passages
the words become;
i’m misremembering them.
it’s like rubbing salt into a wound
that i was tending to
it’s like ripping it at the careful,
and leaving it
ugly and gaping.
i know, i should pick up the pen and start writing
for my new life now,
not defined by him.
or anyone else.
but defined by me.
i choose the narrative.
i should grab that pen and start writing immediately.
but my hands drift back to the old chapters.
the warmth of an old flame.
I feel like,
what’s the point in continuing writing,
when your best work is already written?
when you’ve already peaked?
i feel like i’m starting to move on,
i don’t want to jump the gun.
but i think of you less.
and when i do it doesn’t hurt so much,
or send palpitations into my chest.
i see a picture of you now on facebook,
and i think the rose tinted glasses have been lifted, ever so slightly.
and instead i see a fully grown man
who still hasn’t learnt to be open with his emotions, and show sincerity.
and isn’t that sad?
that 4 years on you still handle your emotions the way you did with your ex, before me.
bury your feelings and hide from them,
until it reaches boiling point,
and it all gets thrown out to sea.
the pain in my chest has lifted,
ever so marginally.
and i’ll take that
because it’s taken a long six months to get here,
and i’m not even half way there yet,
not even close, nowhere near.
but i’ve put my foot on the path in the right direction,
and i feel like i’ve made a decision,
to get over,
move on from
such heartfelt deception.
On our final night together
in a little Italian restaurant we’d made our favourite,
we raised our glasses
Just those two words.
That’s all either of us could manage
without crying in public.
But what we didn’t say was this;
To all that we were.
To all we could’ve been.
To every time we made each other laugh,
and to sweet Nepali tea.
To every cycling holiday
To all the memories we made,
To every happy polaroid
I pray that time won’t fade.
To every “I love you”
To every stolen glance,
to every morning coffee in bed, every debrief cup of tea,
and to every ceilidh dance.
To every adventure that we’ve had,
to every argument we’d right,
to every sweet guitar melody,
and to putting the world to order, late into the night.
To every birthday we made special,
to each and every kiss,
to every mistake we made,
it all came down to this.
So I hope you still remember us,
before we said adieu,
thanks for all the memories,
“to us, to me and to you”.
Silence never sounds like it’s supposed to.
Silence is an echo chamber
of words unspoken,
and anxieties welling up to the surface.
Bubbling, bursting through the millpond of the mind.
Silence is an empty dancefloor
once the music has been turned off
and everyone has left
You’re left with the ringing in your ears, and a scratching in your throat
from screaming to be heard over that
Silence is an empty railway tunnel.
Gaping and anticipating
the next train of thought, coming along
bulldozing it’s way through the temporary vacancy between your ears.
Silence is a forest,
full of moss-covered rocks just waiting to be overturned.
Patches of fog hang despondently between the listless branches
Don’t peer too close, you might scare yourself
with the weight of all the things you do not know
that lie in the gloaming.
Silence is the gap between the thunderclaps.
That is all.
The rain it still pours.
And the echo of the last distance rumble
tumbles around your hollow head.
Silence is the torchlight of the interrogation.
Why weren’t you good enough?
When did it all go wrong?
Why are you like this?
Why can’t you just move on?
it never stops.
body can feel it, the
crushing weight of your absence.
drought for the soul.
fine, i’ll say, i’m doing
how have you been?
i‘ll ask you
just to start a conversation. it’s more than
kind of sad, that we’ve gone from
messed up, to almost
only we knew what we had, a
patient love, that grew
quietly, over time, like the confluence of two
rivers coalescing. they
time changes people, but i didn’t think it would change the course of
us, and now here i sit, staring
vacantly at the blank
wall, i’ll still finish my messages with an
you don’t. you’ve already
The final few rays of a dwindling winter sun
The crest of a wave before it rushes up to meet the sand
The embers of a dying bonfire
And an outstretched hand.
A tree clinging onto the last few leaves of autumn
Breath catching in your throat
A question mark lingering in the conversation
Lying back in the Mediterranean sea, drifting and afloat.
The pips of voicemail as a phone call goes ignored
The red wine stains on the rim of your glass
Three dots, typing
A reply that isn’t coming back.
Turned down pages of a book of old poetry
The first few drops of rain before a storm
The hovering second hand of a clock as it just passes midnight
A half drunk cup of coffee, gone luke-warm.
An imperfect cadence
And a chance not taken
The imperceptible sound
Of another heart breaking.
I hope this heartbreak has taught you nothing.
I hope, the next time you love, you love with all the reckless abandon that you did almost 4 years ago now.
I hope it doesn’t harden you.
I hope you remain soft, and open.
May your heart remain supple.
I hope it doesn’t diminish your capacity to trust another person with your dearest secrets and darkest memories.
I hope the old clichés don’t play out – once bitten, twice shy.
I hope you remain bold in the face of love.
And still grab it with both hands, fiercely.
I hope you have learnt how to love someone deeply, and to accept a sincere love in return.
I hope you have learnt love is worth putting everything you have on the line for.
I hope you allow yourself to be loved again, even at the risk of it all not paying off again.
Because time spent wholeheartedly loving someone is time well spent, and not to be regretted.
I hope this heartbreak has taught you nothing at all.
No one saves you.
Not a boyfriend, or partner, or friend, or family member.
Sure, they can help. Make you feel better for a short while.
But they don’t fix you.
No amount of love from someone else will amount to anything if you still hate yourself.
I’m not saying we all need to love ourselves.
It’s too much to ask.
But just being neutral would be nice.
Not hating ourselves for other people’s misdemeanors, and forgiving ourselves for our own.
Otherwise we’re searching constantly for someone else to say;
“YES! You are good enough!”
“YES! You have value!”
“YES! You are loved!”
But it doesn’t always go like that.
People let you down.
Sometimes people just don’t know what to say.
And if you’re waiting for them to put your pieces back into place, you’ll crumble when they don’t.
And then it’s their fault.
But it’s not.
It’s nobody’s fault.
Let’s not assign more blame.
You’re just hurting.
From old wounds, re-opened.
The more you ignore it, the worse it will get.
You can exist outside of other people’s opinions of you.
You won’t suffocate.
And you won’t drown either.
We used to say
“I’m so in love with you”
“Would it be okay if I spent the rest of my life with you?”
We used to say
“I feel I can achieve anything with you by my side”
“You give me warm fuzzy feelings inside”.
We used to text each other
“Your eyes sparkle”, and
“I feel at home in your arms”
“I would trust you with my life in your wide open palms”.
We used to text each other
“I’m so proud of you”
“You give my life meaning”
and “you’re the love of my life, too”.
40 months, and 24 days later.
Now, we text each other, if we even text at all,
“I hope you’ve had a nice weekend”
and “sleep well”
and I wish I didn’t feel this small
I just found a stack of polaroids, hidden in my bookcase. Of me and you. In Nepal. Walking the Marijuana Trail from Nargakot to Bhaktapur. You standing in front of a big golden Buddha in the background, smiling sleepily at the camera, squinting into the sun. And a black and white one of us sat on the floor of the airport in Kathmandu. Exhausted, but happy, and together.
And another set of photos from Towersey. Where we cooked on the trangia, and you exclaimed proudly “I’m a scientist now!” because you’d successfully lit the burner. Back when we wore whatever the fuck we wanted (Towersey mode, we used to call it); silk shirts and hippy pants, topi hats and bandanas, and glitter on our faces every day. Our little tent with our double air mattress, and our fairy lights and homemade bunting.
Back when we were still a team. Do you remember those times like I do? Do you miss us the way I miss us? Do you still think of me, the way I still think of you, the last thought before I go to sleep, and the first when I wake up? Do you?
Or have you moved on already? To somebody new? I don’t want to know actually.
Because I’m stuck.
I wish we’d never left Wales. I wish things were how they used to be. I wish I was still your best friend, your adventure buddy for life. I wonder, do you ever wish the same? Do you still wish things were more simple? Because right now, I feel sick to the stomach with grief.
Where did we go so wrong? It’s not “just how it’s meant to be”. What happened to us? When did I lose you for good?
Please tell me.