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Other Results of the War

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I should’ve known you were too good to be true
empty promises, unfulfilled wishes
sick, twisted dreams morphing into scalding, glorious nightmares
salty tears staining my flushed cheeks, breakdowns on the bathroom floor
the cold porcelain tub pressing against my shoulders,
heaving with desperate sobs.

Fantasies of us lighting up the night flit in and out of my vision
beautiful dresses, spiky heels
slick black tuxedos, cheesy lines
hands on waists, arms around necks
corsages slipped onto skinny wrists with trembling, nervous fingers
parallel with the realities of cold, lonely evenings, suffocating darkness
clenched fists and skin free of your burning fingerprints
naked wrists and naked ankles.

“Nothing will change.”
Your sweet lies that I was so sickly eager to believe
long after it was painfully obvious that my world was inside out, unrecognizable
magma and mantle rocks and diamonds
flowing in molten streams across the craggy surface
while stifled continents waged bloody wars deep within.

My mind has become a foggy, uncharted, mythical place
the kind of terrifying wasteland whispered about in legends
a sacred land of infinite tears and shattered hearts
demons scurry underground, quick-footed and deadly,
ghosts of the past haunt each and every thought
taunting me with memories of warm June nights
the burning taste of honey barbecue on our tongues
my reflection in your sunglasses
September mornings with your voice, low soft perfect, murmuring my name
your words dripping with sleep, dripping with alcohol


I collected them all
locked them in a silver box, along with the full moons
and forked lightning
and mix CDs
and matching tee shirts
and the sweater I slept in because it still smelled like you
and the warm embrace you held me in because the night was so cold and I shivered and shook
and every song that brought me to tears because it reminded me of you.

And when you stopped saying anything
the silence became deafening
you chose her instead
I could’ve smashed it between my fingers
let the fragments scatter across the dusty hardwood floor
but I unlocked it, unleashed it all into the atmosphere
let the nostalgia smother me.


I realized you were wrong.


Impossible.

for anything to stay the same
our days of racing hearts and sweet nothings and teenage dreams
had ended before they began.





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