Darling, I haven't smelled your sweet scent in two years and I haven't heard the cadence of your half-husked voice since the summer, when my heart throbbed too hard against my fragile ribs and I caved in. I know you're bad for me, like chocolate and cocaine, but I still crave the caress of familiar hands along the smooth contours of my body. You carved wounds in me, deep as the ocean and faked band aids with duct tape. Flimsy and weak they burst open and allowed spurts of pain and nostalgia. Through the salt-soaked tears from my eyes I speak your name. Turning it over in my head like a treasure hoping if I say it over and over all meaning will slip away. But that never does happen. I remember the feel of your lips against mine, how the love was so tangible it radiated from you like a furnace on a frigid winter day, the way the sun filtered in through the blinds as we lay tangled together, naked with cigarettes dangling from our mouths. Never speaking. Just feeling. Feeling all the desire and lust that comes with falling in love for the first time. Those were the glory days. The days I revert to when my soul calls for yours only to echo on the empty walls of a broken heart. And Darling, it's funny how love works. You remember all the beauty in the lost. The days wrestling down hills and dancing in the rain. You remember the good-bye kiss that turns into thirty because you keep running back for more. You remember hand holding and the “look.” That god-forsaken look that melts your whole insides into a slop of liquified affection that courses through your veins and jump starts your heart. You remember sitting cross-legged on his lap listening to the sound of his heartbeat in between inhaled nicotine and Starbucks. But with all of the memories you forget. You forget the way his eyes grew five shades darker when he was about to scream. How he grabbed your wrist and spat in your face words of disgust and morose feelings. You forget the way he made you shrink and the way he made you feel stupid and worthless. And I do forget. Until the days I relapse when I lie crumpled on the floor with letters written with the blood stuck in the bruises you gave me, when I remember the fire you lit that burnt me down.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.