Faulty Lightbulb

January 13, 2008
By Alison Green, Kensington, CA

waiting for you
is the hardest thing i’ve ever done
waiting for you
is sitting cross-legged on the floor
at 3 am, delirious and depressed
focusing all my energy, all my hope,
all the welled up tears, all the panic
and breathing into paper bags and screaming
because you won’t hear me anymore
into getting you to feel something
a tiny pinprick of regret, remorse, remembrance
a small surge of emotion aimed at me
and then maybe i can
lay my head down, curl up into a ball, and sleep.
waiting for you
means tears that fall with no resolution or satisfaction
just puddling, the way stubborn sadness does.
waiting for you
is burning frustration, impatience and the gnawing remains of my pride.
it is watching the clock move.
it is setting deadlines that you consistently break then listening to myself explode into incomplete sentences and fragments involving
giving up and hating you and better than this
while the voice in the back of my head whispers
“you would wait for him forever”
and waiting for you forever
is an awkward grasp on reality
that no one ever means to end up with
breathing someone in and out
while you stand on the sidelines of your own life
reaching down your own throat and into your own heart
to pull out words that won’t budge
because nothing wants to move anymore
having epiphanies that should change your mind
but don’t.
i don’t expect you to understand any of this
you aren’t the one facing a lifetime in chains
but i expect you to hear me
and i expect you to listen
to glare at these words until they blur together
and even if i reach out
and my arm isn’t long enough to reach over your cold shoulder
i wanted you to know i’m waiting for you
even though it’s hard and messy and unbearably numb
making my heart flicker on and off like a faulty light bulb
i’m going to wait for you
even though you whispered not to
because giving up on me and you
is more about giving up on me
than about giving up on you.

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