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The birds and I all sat silently in the stillness of listening to your music.

The subtle strums of some old melody in the back of your mind.

Surely, this song was written about yet another lover who came into your life, just to leave again. Surely, she was worth writing a song about until her disappearance. And surely, I was there to watch the whole story unfold, page by page, until the final chapter slammed the cover shut and tucked it away into the attic of your mind.

I remember watching dusk turn to dawn under your eyes as you would slip out of the confusion into the joy of seeing her.

In these stories, I am not the her.

In these stories I am the girl who asked the universe for a sign of your love, and received nothing.

I am the girl who took the nothing and molded it into a wall built between us. Gave the wall a mouth to do the talking for me.

It only told you I never wanted to see you again after that night because I didn’t think I would have to.

Now, you’re everywhere without actually being anywhere.

I have never felt so much presence from your absence.

Your hands are branded on every inch of my skin without you ever touching me. Your eyes have seen everything I’ve done without you even looking in the first place.

I learned to wear your smile as my only article of joy. Now, I forget what it’s like to feel well dressed.

Now, I spell isolation the same way I spell companionship.

See, I’m not convinced you ever actually cared about anyone. I’m sure it’s a lot easier that way, so I applaud you for this ability.

You used to have the type of personality people just wanted to dance with. Now, everyone’s forgotten the steps.

Now, I’ve torn away endless sheets with words only about you. Constructed them into a home with only my old ideas of you. Sleep in a bed made for one, that desperately begs for two.

I make grocery lists full of reasons to be happy, but every word is your name.

I rip up these lists, take the torn bits of paper, and turn them into a paper machete me.

A newly sculpted girl with paper thin patience.

Tonight I will kiss a different boy in my car.

Partially because I want to kiss a boy who tastes like a fire cracker. Partially because I need to distract my mouth from saying something it shouldn’t. Partially because i’m drunk off of experience.

And mostly because your song came on the radio, and I needed to write a poem about it.

© 2018 Xandra Lang

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