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I spend another moment drowned by the tears
That streak my face. Ears deafened
By the echoes from your voice that once
Rang clear, telling me you were home.
I peel back the glue that adheres to the
Seal of a blue envelope.
Designed with butterflies and blinding colors, the outsider
Would’ve accepted the fabrication and believed everything was
But these countless nights haven’t been so
Kind without you by my side and I am soon reminded
This isn’t anyone’s mother.
I explore the few contents of the card until my eyes
Find a single five word line:
I wish you were here.
It’s been almost a year and
Every day is the same. Going insane
With the memories that remain in my heart
And on my brain. Knowing that every
Bit of self I lose is another thing you gain.
You’re just a frame.
Dust covered glass that shadows your face
Like it was so easy to erase the
Loneliness and empty space.
I never knew a parent was such a hard thing to replace.
Our last embrace…do you even
Remember what it felt like?
My mind retraces the way
Your arms interlaced one another
Behind my shoulders.
You whispered three untrue words
In my ear in which I responded
With a silent “I love you too.”
A few moments later, you snatched
Your keys out of the drawer,
Slipped through the door,
And got into your car.
Never saw my silhouette
Vanish in the rearview mirror as
You turned the corner and
Disappeared down the avenue. You
Drove away in the middle of the night.
Gave up the battle before you even
Stood up and attempted to fight.
I was never in your line of sight despite
All my efforts to make things right.
“What time’s her flight?
When is she coming home?”
He asks, eyes cast down, remaining at the table alone. I
Stand still, frozen. Unable to utter a sound.
The rapid pounding of my heart
Rattles within my chest as my
Voice is caught in my throat and
Is captured by my innermost thoughts.
“She’s not, is she?”
Innocent eyes cry as pain rolls down his cheeks.
How can I tell my own brother his mother’s
Location’s unknown? That I
Can no longer condone her choice to
Roam the streets rather than dial seven digits
Or pick up a phone
My ear is met with the piercing dial tone.
A fake smile plastered upon my lips,
I attempt to reconcile what’s been broken
With a single call.
“We’re sorry. The number you have dialed cannot be reached at this time…”
I lower the phone onto my lap.
One half defeat, the other half denial,
Like a refugee in exile.
Forced to face this hostile
It’s been nine months since that night.
And as my finger waver’s over the button to redial,
I realize for the first time
In that moment…
This goodbye is going to be a while.