December 24, 2008
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I came back today.
First time in 10 years,
and I somehow ended up here
under this tree.
This beautiful tree that we first
kissed under.
And where our names are carved like
tombstones deep in the bark.
But our love is not dead, just dormant,
it still grows relentlessly like kudzu in Tennessee.
I let my fingers slowly, lingeringly,
sweep over the letters that still mean
so much.

I still taste the picnics we shared under this tree,
see the fish we chased in the creek
and hear laughs we shared as we wrestled in the flowers.
And I remember the can in my hand whose contents
turned my heart into a star: impossible to reach.
And my eyes still see your black and gray specs riding away
on the current.

I’ve been hurting too long
because I can’t admit you’re actually gone.
Because I never could say
But how can you be gone when I still feel you
I still feel your breath on my neck when the wind blows.
Your fingers gently caressing my arm when the sun trudges down.
And when it rains, the drops,
crying on the creek, make
images of your face
that dash away when I reach out to touch it.

No, you’re not gone,
just slowly fading away
like clouds after a storm.

But my last words, angry and insincere,
still hit me through the years
like the steady beating of a drum.

The sound of the car’s screeching tires
still bubbles, like hot lava,
in my ears.

And the solid thud of your body
slamming into metal
still sends trembles up and down
until it’s all I can do to stop screaming
and writhing in the pain of losing you
over and over again.

So now, as I sit here
with my back against the tree
and the tears shattering down my face
like broken seashells,
I ask for you to forgive me.
To forgive me for the harsh and burning words
that spewed like fire that day.
I wasn’t angry at you, but at myself.

And now let me tell you,
with all that is left
I love you

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