The Day You Left, I Filled My Chest With Poetry


The day you left I filled up my chest with poetry. My sternum became protruded with all the forgotten love in strangers. Flowers kept blooming when I realized they were for me. The lonely whisper of betrayal was stamped firmly on your neck. Purple was my favorite color, a sign of royalty and courage. But it became blurred in my vision when I closed the door behind me and inhaled all the pollen to blame it on allergies.

When I got home, I apologized. As though my feelings and reaction weren’t allowed and not validated by the marks of someone else on your skin. I let myself fall apart and blamed my tightly sewed up wounds for never letting you in. They ripped open and bled me out while my friends offered sounds and alcohol to disinfect the cuts. I then gargled mouthwash to burn away the taste of you.

We tore off my sheets to wash away the smell of you, which felt so permanent in my room. I opened my window to let the cold air in. It’s hard to feel pain when you can be satisfyingly numb. My eyes grew tired of looking into where I went wrong as I sat wiping away the chalkboard love notes you never wrote to be permanent.

I filled my ears with poetry and other’s hands as my cuts let me be more humble and understanding of how to not be an asshole. I left who I was and let myself grow new with the flowers budding into the Spring. My phone becoming my worst enemy letting your number show up with letters spelling everything about me you miss. How glad you were to meet me, as though these sentences would help me heal, when you typed it only for yourself. You never once considered and I let myself take the blame for why it failed.

The poetry told me I wasn’t the only one who felt how suffocating silence can be. That it is easier for some to cut you and forget, but I will never be someone worth forgetting. I am brilliant, burning everything I can to the ground, a violent stillness with how heavy the phone can be in my hand. I used to sleep with it under my pillow, look for your name to appear. Now it’s just area codes I can’t recognize filled with other names of men hidden inside the warmth of the bars.

I healed myself with poetry so when my blood ran out there would still be something left inside. The glow underneath my skin and the long lashes to blink away the retrospect of red flags I never wanted to see. The truth inside someone so manipulative, but always seeing the potential of a lover with callused hands because all I ever wanted to be was strong.

Because, I guess, two people can be in completely separate relationships without ever knowing.

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