This Is How You Captivate Me Even After You’re Gone


When I sleep, I can still hear her voice. Lilting, lifting, and lulling– whispered promises and muffled oaths.

The sound is music to my ears, the notion of it lets me forget, even just for a moment, that it’s only in this muted cross between sleep and waking that I will ever truly hear it again.

When I sleep, I can still feel her touch.

Gentle and feather-like, she’d ghost the pads of her fingertips over the skin of my neck as she broke down my walls with her soft embrace.

I think you’d be pleased to know that I finally threw out that radio you loathed so much. Your caress is what shamed any other soothing song that music box could offer.

When I sleep, I can still smell her scent. A mixture of strawberry shampoo, unfiltered sun, and mystifying perfume.

The cleaning lady looked askance at me when I told her she could not lay even a single gloved finger on the pillow that lies to the right of my own. I wouldn’t take it if she tainted the last remainder of your smell.

When I sleep, I can still taste her unspoken words.

A tilt of a head while watching me read her my newest poem, a silent “I love you” wafting in the air and settling on my lips as if she had put it there herself.

I have not written a word since. How can– could I? How, when I’ve lost my muse?

When I sleep, I can still see her whole. A masterpiece covered in pale skin and perfectly dotted marks, sitting in the chair by the balcony, a book in hand and a wandering expression as she glanced to the stars, letting me know exactly which one was her when I looked up at the sky on the loneliest of hours.

I knew I should’ve taken up painting when you pointed out the classes that were being held for it just downtown. If I did, I would’ve been able to sculpt you through watery hues and elaborate brush strokes. I would’ve preserved you in a frame that you would eventually bark at me for, because really, nothing could contain you.

Alas it’s when the beeping of the alarm takes me away– rattles me from memories that I replayed every night. The taunting sound, a reminder that she is but a faint echo in the darkest and brightest depths of my mind. That she is no longer here, but now just a burning mass of light residing in the clouds.

You hated it when I rose with the sun– you’d press your forehead against my shoulder and whisper,

“Wake up, when I wake up. Rise with me.”

Yet somehow, I sense that you are far from pleased that I now awaken when the sky is pitch black.

But I live through each day; because not only is she a star in the dark abyss of evenings, but the glowing sun that haunts us with it’s beauty in the day.

I have found a way to stop calling mornings “mournings”.

And when people ask me how I’m able to see her in such a wide and vast collection of light in the sky, I simply smile and shrug.

“I pick the most captivating one. Just as she had captivated me.”

And even after a year of not seeing you in flesh, you still do.