teach me how to love you and i swear i’ll never forget.
; A brief love affair.
you see, he’s the type of addiction that rips your soul open. always craving for his open heart, the innocence. you are always burning and hurting without him knowing the damage he’s inflicting everyday.
he smiles my way, never at me, but it leaves me aching all the same.
his soft heart cannot bear the darkness of this place.
i long to hear his lips forming the vowels of my name.
an augmented reality that leaves me aching for days.
what sort of infatuation leaves the soul wide open
the burn his smile leaves in every darkened moment
the feeling i experience staring out in the ocean
cannot ever compare to the words he’d spoken
the memories of summer remains to be the only thing he’d impart
of the constellations we promised on seems so far apart
he never picked up the splattered pieces of my heart
the pain i feel i can only call art
still he smiles and it never cease to leave me breathless
picturing the warmth in his eyes, i lie awake, restless
though the weight of his words feel like home
i am not surprised when i end up alone.
“Then I thought of the drive back, late at night, along the starlit river to this rickety antique New England hotel on a shoreline that I hoped would remind us both of the bay of B., and of Van Gogh’s starry nights, and of the night I joined him on the rock and kissed him on the neck, and of the last night when we walked together on the coast road, sensing we’d run out of last-minute miracles to put off his leaving.
I imagined being in his car asking myself, Who knows, would I want to, would he want to, perhaps a nightcap at the bar would decide, knowing that, all through dinner that evening, he and I would be worrying about the same exact thing, hoping it might happen, praying it might not, perhaps a nightcap would decide – I could just read it on his face as I pictured him looking away while uncorking a bottle of wine or while changing the music, because he too would catch the thought racing through my mind and want me to know he was debating the exact same thing, because, as he’d pour the wine for his wife, for me, for himself, it would finally dawn on us both that he was more me than I had ever been myself, because when he became me and I became him in bed so many years ago, he was and would forever remain, long after every forked road in life had done its work, my brother, my friend, my father, my son, my husband, my lover, myself.
In the weeks we’d been thrown together that summer, our lives had scarcely touched, but we had crossed to the other bank, where time stops and heaven reaches down to earth and gives us that ration of what is from birth divinely ours. We looked the other way. We spoke of everything but. But we’ve always known, and not saying anything now confirmed it all the more.
We had found the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.”
― André Aciman,
Icarus filled me with this unexplainable warmth
and his smile would always leave a mark
He was my sun, the light in my life,
the stars I would look up to whenever I’m in the dark
but then I saw how his coffee brown eyes
dulled and gradually lost color
As his flame slowly burned out
and his smile became smaller
I watched him slowly slip away from my grasp
In pieces I could never seem to catch
Because my hands are too tired to hold on and keep clasp
Around the heart no one seemed to match
If I were to go back in time,
If I were to replay a moment once more
Instead of him falling into the sea,
Let him fall into my arms, forevermore.
Instead of carving our story into a tragedy, I will cherish him and adore
I wouldn’t let him knock on suicide’s door
Take me back to the time where he still kissed my head.
Take me back to the warmth of his smile instead.
In honor of World Mental Health Day.
It’s not love, but if he needs me to stay up all night with him, I will.
these nights I lie awake with the thought of him on my mind
the way he smiles, the way his warm, brown eyes would light up, how he looks when he has his guard down. his vulnerability is an endearing quality i found myself captivated by.
and i don’t know why.
If he tells me to wait a hundred days for him, I will.
time doesn’t exist when he laughs, all those melody pouring out from his lips is a song i wish i could capture down and paint in the colors of his eyes, so that i may never forget.
in an alternate universe, he and i are playing cards and we laugh and clumsily dance and fall (in love), but in this universe, i wait.
and i hope it isn’t too late.
If he asks me to break the rules I made for myself, I will.
For him, I will, gladly.
life is all about taking risks and having your heartbroken a thousand times over but still waking up the next morning just so you could hear his laugh, his voice, his silence. to see him smile, and sleep, and weep, and exist beautifully and wonderfully without end. to hold his worries and doubt in the palm of your hands, to look up at him and see him smiling without pretend.
i will bring my walls to ruin just so he could see the way my heart is painted with his favorite color, see the way my hands would tremble at the thought of holding his, see himself the way i see him; full of warmth and kindness and hope and sunlight.
his smile is a poem i try and try to capture on paper and write
so i would always remember and never lose sight,
but i could never get it right.
but then, if it’s not love, what is it?
does anyone else have those moments where they just fall in love with being alive? like, maybe you’re in art class with soft music and you realize that this peaceful feeling is a part of life that you love and you want to just keep forever, and there are so many other parts of life too that are so wonderful and maybe existing isnt so bad after all
is this what being not depressed is like
no, this is what recovery is like. this is what being depressed is like, and it’s why we stay. because even when we’re sure this is it, this is the last day we can put up with it, this is the last hour, the last second – some part of us remembers these moments, and thinks – what if tomorrow has one of them.
i used to joke i have bad days and worse days. i almost never do well. i feel like i keep barely a nose above the water.
but in those rare, rare, rare seconds where the waves stop for one second and i catch sight of something other than dark, i see it. the way a rose looks after a rain. how my mother smiles when she knows it’s my favorite meal that’s cooking. my best friend looking over his shoulder to flip me off again. the bike i rode at 7 and crashed at 17. a little bug struggling with five little legs – but walking, walking.
recovery isn’t smashing into these moments and realizing it’s finally happened, what those people said is true and it “all gets better”. recovery is remembering those moments and deciding – i want them back. it’s looking for them. sometimes it takes hours. sometimes days. sometimes months without any sight of them. but you look, you search even when you’re too tired to keep your eyes open, because you promised yourself … tomorrow. tomorrow will be the day we find one. a four leaf clover we know is our sign, the rainbow, the wishing well – the way out.
and when you find one, they get easier. four leaf clovers always grow in the same patch, after all. and your eyes get sharper. you figure out what makes any small part of you happy. you figure out that you might not be happy, but it’s good enough to stick around to watch the way oil looks in puddles and how she always cries at new year’s. and it might not be blisteringly, soul-crushingly happy in the way other people seem to feel things – in that mind-numbing wordless joy that shines in them, that glow i’m so envious of, that effortlessness – but it will be like this, just quiet, a moment of rest, of the shouts dimming for a minute, a peace.
it’s easy to say “i’m depressed, i’ll never be happy.” maybe. i hope not, because i’m still looking. and in these moments i’ve rediscovered that i am funny, that i like the color pink, that kittens and puppies never fail me. in these moments i’m still depressed, still me, still fighting an illness that wants to end me. but i’m fighting. i seek these moments in every second i get because i’m here and breathing and after all this i’m going to be pissed if this gets the better of me.
maybe i’ll never figure out how to feel effortless and free. but i know that i feel love when the music is blaring and my hands are out the window and i feel love somewhere on the beach and i feel love watching salamanders wake up in the mornings. it’s not other people’s love, it’s far-off and it’s distant and it might not be “normal”, but it’s goddamn important to me.
i didn’t wake up better. i forced better to come fight me. i’ve been walking towards recovery since i was 19. five years later and no, i’m not cured, but i see a lot more of these moments. or maybe they were always there, and only now am i realizing what i got in front of me.
and when it’s been bad again? when i’m not even breathing? when it’s been months since i felt anything, when the stress is too much and the sky is dark and the moon in me has fallen silent? i say: hang on. tomorrow might be the day we find it. tomorrow might be worth the fight.
the best part about this? eventually, i’m right.
I’m telling myself it’s okay. I loved you with my everything and you just needed something different than I could put together. I’m saying I was a building sandcastles kind of person and you always asked why I bothered when it was going to wash away. I think we did our best. I’m saying I know she’ll be better than me in the end but I tried so hard I broke myself for it. That’s what I’ve been saying to myself, I guess: at least you tried. It’s just that you needed something different.