The lightning-spliced sky illuminates my bedroom
and I'm crouched in the corner, embraced by the dark,
thinking of how there could have been a chance
for me to wake up next to you, your emerald eyes
webbed with emotion, your body limp
from jerking in your sleep. I imagine ruffled sheets,
broken lamps, and permeating heat.
I think of how we could have jogged together
along roadsides and doubled over with thorns
in our ribs at your feeble attempts to whistle Dixie.
I'm collapsing inward, reminiscing on the truths
I should have told you and how every boy I pass
has your face, your dark brown hair, your lips.
And I cry. Oh, do I cry.
I saw you hunched over one day, exhausted
from nightmares, sipping Gatorade and reciting
poetry about there being beauty in decay,
and I couldn't help but think that you
were living proof of that phenomenon.
I wanted to cry for you and tell you about that time
a lady ran into me at Barnes & Noble and I'd had
no earthly idea that I was alive until she turned around
and said, "Watch where you're going!"
There are spiders inside my head. I can feel them
scurrying beneath my skull, and I'm not sure if
I want to rip them out or coil into a ball and
let them have me.
Waves are crashing, a tsunami against
my fragile bones, and I'm going under, drowning.
You had a way of coaxing my lips to smile,
of making the sun shine a little brighter,
of smashing those goddamned spiders,
but as the cliché goes, "that was then and
this is now," and now all I have are shadows,
raging tides, bittersweet memories, and my lying
yet hopeful heart.