You can miss a place as you miss a person – with heart-held longing and aching arms. Stretching toward the place you were, the person you were back then.
Nothing stays the same, they say, but I’ve never met a memory that didn’t know better.
Some part always stays.
(You’re the warm body I left too soon, the granite rising in my dreams. Metaphors mixed and heavy as I feel you under foot, reading your roots like braille).
My roots. The way it rains. Everything – I remember.
swinging from branches that were made for my frame …
You can be half a planet, half a country, half a block – or half a room away, and still hurt me with the arms that you impose.
I no longer wish to be part of the distance that you make.
Happy Holidays. Happy New Year. Happy Birthday. Happy every anniversary of every happy any thing that means something or no thing at all to you.
Happy any day that I’m not in, let’s say.
I will read your obituary and cry myself to sleep one day. But while you’re still here, alive, you get nothing from me. Ever again.
(I think they made resolutions for this).
I broke what we had, and it’s our love that is in fragments. So what if a piece or two stayed lodged in our hearts. That’s more like a wound than love, in the end.
In the end.
When do you get to the end of love? The moment it breaks apart? Or is that just another beginning? I don’t know anything. Or I know this. My love for Ash has been revived like some Frankenstein’s monster, a gross, distorted version of what it was before. A version where I break up his family, take him from his child, from the friends who wouldn’t choose his happiness this time, because they wouldn’t trust it, wouldn’t trust me. That version, the one I’ve cobbled together since we met up again – at a bar not unlike this one, come to think – that version is why I had to leave, and why I am more alone than ever, here in this never-sleeping city.
In the end.
In the end, you can’t get back what you’ve lost. You can’t bring back the dead. There is a girl who died today, and I don’t even know her name. I will need the police or the papers to tell me. I will need them to tell me the way she died. Even though I was the one who made it real, even though I was the one who finished whatever was started last night, or this morning, when someone smashed in her skull, when they left her on the rocks, half-naked and waiting.
I need another whiskey. I can see her face. I know she wants to tell me something. I know she has something to say about all there is to lose – in the end.
I head back to the bar, passing the nuzzling, love-soaked couple and their shared couch cushion. Wanting, suddenly, to stop and tell them that I’m so very sorry for everything that will surely come their way.
~ Elliott, Into the After