Our love stopped time for me.
There’s always going to be a “before”
and an “after”.
Paradoxically “after” is the present moment.
Therefore having let you go means that you presently monopolize my life experience.
You are no more gone than the sun during a thunderstorm-
my hope the sunlight and your presence the chaos.
Removed now in the cruelest way, part of me gone but not carried within you.
As if it cannot exist inside of a foreign vessel.
I had to kill that piece of me to be free of you,
now I live free but my soul is…different.
Nobody understands the cost before it’s paid,
I will never love again without pausing first at any potential lover’s claims.
I grew back but wasn’t as full as I had been.
I wonder if I’m even making sense -trying to explain what hell life is, having loved a dead thing.
A hope given up intentionally but not willingly.
Gravity feels heavier,
the atmosphere harder to walk through.
Every interaction costs me.
It’s cruelly comical that “after” feels a lot like the space before it,
Misery and confusion – a dark cloud ruling it’s sky.
The deepest truth is no matter this pain,
It was worse pain to be with you.
I was alone more in your arms
than I’ve ever felt crying the toxins from my wounds.
You never knew my dreams,
Or how my heart leapt at library ladders and how the smell of an old book was my favorite.
You didn’t know my preferences after years together,
And your attention was so cheap, any woman could have it.
You didn’t read my poetry.
You never cared to know me any deeper than what my existence meant to your comfort.
You did not learn me outside of you.
Though I knew you better than yourself.
This is perhaps why “after” isn’t so hard for you,
You don’t know what you lost and I will forever.
I walk differently after the disrespect I paid myself,
having questioned my worth in your rejection.
I move slower because every action must be accounted for if I’m never to find myself
in that space again.
A space that was anything but spacious –
suffocating and alive.
Things taste different and peace
is bought with deliberate intention.
So far, I haven’t found a romantic love outside of myself that can exist
in the space that peace creates.
I wonder if peace feels different for those
that found it blindly than for ones like me –
who had to die for it.
Honestly, I can’t tell if this is peace
or disassociation at it’s finest.
It matters not as I claim this space for myself -and never for us.
What matters is that I continue in spite of it all.
I continue on.