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You Were Here

He was with her. Then she was gone. He knew. She was gone. He wanted he back. How do you adjust to not having her? Chapter 1: one I used to know her.
I used to be able to tell,
Just by the sound of her breath
What she was feeling.
I used to touch her smooth skin,
So like the moon,
Like the ocean,
I used to think she was an angel
Sent to help me.
I know now.
There is no such thing as
Divine Intervention.
I know that it was just another dream,
Another lie that I fed to myself.
I should know.
She’s gone.
I’m still here.
Waiting.
And the least I can do is pick
Some pieces of my soul and heart off the ground
And start over.
She is
Just one star,
Now,
In the endless night.
One blade of grass
On a rolling field.
One grain of sand
On a huge beach.
I should know.
I saw her.
Her hair, streaming
Behind her in the wind
As she walked across the water.
Her eyes, green as the grass
Her light feet fell upon.
Her mind as bright
As the single star that shines above me.
Pulsing,
Like her heart used to.
***
I am a fool.
I let her go.
It is my fault.
I visit her in the night,
Her soul is entwined in mine,
Her arms wrapped around my back.
I can see her clearly.
In my mind.
And then I wake,
My breath coming out in gasps,
My heart thumping,
Begging for one minute,
One second,
One tiny bit of time with her,
Just a bit more.
***
He carries her blood.
And mine, too.
Both the divine and the
Imperfect.
He smiles just like her.
His laugh bubbles like hers used to.
His eyes sparkle like an endless ocean,
Just like hers.
He never knew her.
He never heard her breathing.
Never saw her sleeping,
Her beautiful hair
Spilling across
The pillow,
Her stomach swollen with you,
You like a full moon,
Resting in her body.
I yelled at you once,
You,
Who carry her blood.
The only memory.
You,
Who took her away.
You,
In whose eyes lies her spirit.
And you saw me.
You saw the malice in my eyes,
My own muddy brown ones,
Not like her’s of the purest emerald.
You cried,
Her spirit bubbling down your chin.
Her eyes,
Filling with water,
Like a pond,
And flooding over,
Yielding their contents,
Her soul,
Her eyes.
***
I’ve been cold,
Lately.
Wrapped in an everlasting
Ice cube,
The ice melting into tears of shame
And rage.
I’ve been cold,
Too cold to care,
To live,
Too cold even to
Die.
I’ve slept,
Grabbing at moments with you.
Grabbing for your hand
Only to let it
Slip
Through
My
Fingers.
They haunt me, your fingers.
Their pure white,
Their cool feel,
Their nails filed and rounded to perfection.
Your arm,
Its curve working its way up to the
Elbow,
And further,
The underneath so much lighter than
The
Front.
I see this,
And then I wake,
And the room is just a
Barren
Reminder of you,
So unlike my dreams,
My desires.
So unlike my hopes and wishes.
Unlike you were,
When you slept beside me,
When I felt your skin against mine,
Felt to gentle thumping of your heart. Chapter 2: two I’ve been cold,
Lately.
Wrapped in an everlasting
Ice cube,
The ice melting into tears of shame
And rage.
I’ve been cold,
Too cold to care,
To live,
Too cold even to
Die.
I’ve slept,
Grabbing at moments with you.
Grabbing for your hand
Only to let it
Slip
Through
My
Fingers.
They haunt me, your fingers.
Their pure white,
Their cool feel,
Their nails filed and rounded to perfection.
Your arm,
Its curve working its way up to the
Elbow,
And further,
The underneath so much lighter than
The
Front.
I see this,
And then I wake,
And the room is just a
Barren
Reminder of you,
So unlike my dreams,
My desires.
So unlike my hopes and wishes.
Unlike you were,
When you slept beside me,
When I felt your skin against mine,
Felt to gentle thumping of your heart.
***
I used to know you.
You knew me.
So perfect.
You, the goddess,
Seeing me,
The imperfect.
It was a miracle,
But that’s what love is,
A miracle.
And it was love.
You loved me.
I loved you.
And in the last hour,
With the machines beeping,
And the doctors in their white coats,
Running around,
You told me.
Your lips parted, just forming three words.
Three words.
Great words,
Momentous.
I repeated them,
But now I wonder,
Was that enough?
Could I have kept you
If I had said something different?
My heart hurt then,
Just like now.
My head, too.
My body aces with the constant
Strain,
That you used to lift off my back.
You told me,
So many times,
I save you,
But in truth,
You saved me.
If I had said all that, would you have made it?
I don’t know.
I should have tried
Harder.
Tried to keep you here.
For him.
For me.
I see his blood,
Under his skin,
And wonder how it is so perfect.
How was yours so perfect, free from
The taints of mankind?
How were you so blessed while I was
Just
Human?
***
I walk across the endless
Sand.
I pick up a small
Grain.
This is you.
This is your song
That I hear.
Your voice,
Your tongue.
Your mind,
Body,
Blood,
Spirit.
Captured,
So perfectly,
In this sand.
I hold it close,
Trying to see you,
Just as you were,
Your gentile
Smile,
Your eyes
Crinkling just a little bit.
I hold the sand close to my heart.
A fisherman gives me a Look.
A don’t see him.
Only you,
I hold you in my hand.
On the way home,
With Him in the back seat,
I turn on the radio, hoping for your music to pour out.
I hear the singer,
But his words are distant.
I hear you in every sound wave,
You in every molecule.
“Tiny Dancer/
In my hand.”
That is you.
You are my
Dancer.
You are the sand.
You are here.
With me. Chapter 3: three He walks.
You are in his steps.
His every move reflects yours.
His chubby hands grasp
My own,
And he holds me,
Tightly,
Never wanting to let go.
Like you.
You didn’t want to go.
Didn’t want to leave him.
You did.
I can feel your presence in the air.
In his hands.
Holing mine.
I let go.
You are too strong,
In him.
Your blood is too
Great,
So much more than mine.
Greater.
I close my eyes,
And see you.
Waltzing across the living room,
Hair spinning.
You looked happy.
I was, too.
What is happy now?
Is it him?
Or you?
He teeters,
On the brink of falling.
Just like you on the last day.
Like you,
You holing on,
For me.
I held you,
Like I do now, with him.
His steps grow
Bigger, more confident,
And he laughs,
Like you,
So muck like you.
His green eyes twinkle as he slips his fingers into mine
Again.
I feel you.
Know you are in hi.
And in me, too.
Your heart beats with my heart,
My breath echoes yours.
I hold your breath,
Sobbing inwardly.
He continues to walk.
***
Here,
I walk.
Across the green grass.
You are here, too,
Or were.
Your spirit,
Once so vibrant,
Has been replaced by a hollow feeling.
I feel you in the grass,
But you are more,
Or less,
It’s hard to tell.
I see you in the sky,
But you are muted.
Smaller.
And I see you on the ground,
Your hair undone,
Your shirt wrinkled.
I see you and you don’t see me.
And I sob.
In the middle of the field,
And you still
Don’t see.
You still
Don’t care.
I see you.
I see you.
Here, in every leaf,
Every grass,
You are there.
In the air,
You live.
Your heart
Still beats a drumroll to the earth.
I see you.
***
Even now I feel her pain.
Feel her heart slowing.
See her mind splayed across her face.
Screaming in agony
But her lips remain
Still.
A silent plea etched deep
In her eyes,
Her mouth,
The lines in her face.
Her cold,
Still
Body.
So soon after.
And his warm one.
Full of life,
Life that she gave him.
Her eyes.
Her soul.
The bed screams
Knowing.
Too sterile, too white.
Not her at all.
She would hate it, the white.
She would wish for green, wish for blue,
For open sky.
And him
He who is to blame.
He who made her go.
A cold heart
Beats within my false chest.
A sad heart
And a cold soul, so cold, waiting for her.
A soul devoid of her blood, her eyes,
Her life that she breathed into him.
Her cheeks,
White as milk.
As in life,
As below,
As here,
As now,
As he,
As she,
As you,
As me.
As his cheeks, his soul.
His tears, as pure as yours.
From the same emeralds that you saw from,
So he spouts his emotion from.
His heart,
Warmer than mine,
Colder than yours.
It is diluted by my own
Imperfect blood
In his veins.
My heart,
My mind,
My soul,
So impure, not like hers.
Undeserving,
Of her love.
She said it would work.
She was wrong. Chapter 4: four It has been two years.
Two long empty years.
Two years of pain and anger.
I cannot let go.
Still se you in dreams,
In words,
In the sky.
See you everywhere,
Want you,
Need you.
See him, too.
He, so much like you.
And more like him, now.
I cry,
My muddy tears,
On the same day,
The day you left,
Two years ago.
You are in the ground now.
A rotting skeleton with
Peeling moldy flesh.
Your perfect bones exposed to the elements,
Your hair gone.
I see you like that.
One red rose,
Marks you.
On the stone that I pray by.
A single red rose,
The thorn withered,
The leaf dead.
A petal falls off,
And sweeps around
The stone.
I watch it as a part of your soul.
I grab it
Before it can blow away.
I feel you.
You do not feel me.
***
They are lined up.
The grass.
The sand.
The petal.
You and not you,
Here and not here.
Away and now,
Gone and found.
No more, no less.
I see them in the morning as I wake.
See them as I fall asleep.
They are always there.
Reminding me of you.
As if I would forget.
As if I wouldn’t think of you.
You saw leaving as a part of living.
I didn’t.
You are gone.
I am here.
You are here,
With him,
With me.
***
The years pass.
He, you, he, the embodiment of you,
Grows
From a weak little
Child,
Into a boy
Of seven.
He likes baseball.
I take him to the park and as his feet
Crunch
Along the grass
I hear you,
In every step,
In every breath.
Catch.
Throw,
Catch.
Throw.
It is a never-ending game.
Just like love.
Baseball and love.
Two very similar
Games.
He catches the ball
With a smack in his
Glove and sits down,
Breathing heavily.
‘Where is she?’
He asks,
And in his words you lie.
‘She’s not here.’
He jumps up.
He runs.
***
He runs faster than me,
Faster than you.
You were fast.
But he is more so.
His feet fly behind him
Kicking up puddles.
I call his name.
‘Stop!’
He doesn’t.
I stop.
I wait.
My breath comes out in
Ragged gasps.
He stops ahead of me,
His perfect arms
Folded across his chest
Just like yours.
He says,
‘Why?’
I don’t have an answer.
I pull him close.
He doesn’t feel like you.
***
The cemetery is huge
And I hate the death
That lies within it.
He is scared.
I can tell.
We walk slowly through the endless gravestones,
The peeling moss
So dark
Against the grey.
There you are.
‘Loved mother and wife.’
You didn’t need that.
All you needed was a quiet burial.
You are here,
in the grass.
In the trees.
In the sky
And the mountains that surround us.
I feel you
In tune with the ever-beating
Drum of life.
And here you are
A red rose withering beside the grave,
A robin calling a song,
A dewdrop clinging to the grass.
You are here.
You are here.
I should know that you
Are not an angel.
You wouldn’t be.
You didn’t believe in that.
You didn’t seem to care,
Not even as the last seconds ticked by,
As you closed your eyes and took the final breath,
Even as you slipped away with
One
Last
Smile.
And he was there too.
A small boy then.
Not big, like now.
Not you,
And yet you.
He has your blood.
You don’t have any left.
Is he still you?
We walk back
Casting long shadows over the ground.
He sees them and tries to jump on them.
I laugh for the first time without you.
You had a beautiful laugh
That bubbled up from your throat.
It was there all the time.
His eyes reflect yours and the mountains and
I see you in every step,
Every move that he makes,
Every time he breathes.
I see you.
You don’t see me.
Not now.
Not here.
He doesn’t know about you.
He doesn’t see you like I do.
You still come to me in my dreams
With long hair
And white skin.
You seem to wither,
Like the rose,
Like everything else.
I long to see you under the dirt.
Your bones,
Pieces of skin stretched out on them.
And your eyes,
Surely molded over by now.
Not like his.
So clear, so bright.
The gates look like spikes and I walk around them,
With him.
A breath escapes his lips and I feel it on my leg.
I look down.
He looks up.
‘where is she?’
I point.
He understands. Chapter 5: five I believe in angels.
You were one,
Called down to me.
And then recalled,
Up
Into the sky.
I know you were.
You were.
I wasn’t.
He is half angel, too,
The grin,
The eyes,
The hair.
I watch him grow,
His gap tooth smile that I love,
The way he looks with interest at each new thing.
I love him.
I loved you.
He is only half angel.
He will not get recalled.
***
I used to know you.
I used to be able to see you.
Now I don’t.
Only at night do I see your eyes,
Filled with tears.
I cry too.
I know you are here.
In my bones,
Still with me forever.
You cannot be forgotten
I line your books up on the shelf and look at them.
You favorites.
‘Come here,’ I call.
He comes in.
“books,’ I say quietly,
rubbing the spines.
He nods.
I nod.
I will tell him soon.
Tell him about you.
Show him the pictures and
The lock of hair—just in case
Cloning is ever
Used for humans.
I wonder if angels have DNA—
And the trinkets that
You loved.
All your things still here
In the attic.
In a big box.
Your wallet and your picture in there,
You clothes and perfume.
Your pens and paper and diaries.
I cannot bear yet to look at this.
It makes me cry
And the drops splatter onto the heavy
Creamy paper,
Ruining it.
I know you wouldn’t want that.
I know.
He will know too.
Soon.
He carries your blood.
He is half you
Half me
Half himself.
That is three halves.
I know that, too.
It doesn’t matter.
He is all and none of us.
All and none.
***
I used to know you,
Because,
You were here.



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