All of a sudden we were screaming so loudly that the words were actually almost reluctant to rip themselves away from our chest. My lungs felt fragile, burdened even. I hated every cigarette you ever smoked near me, for a moment. I wanted to be a better runner, I heard runners breathe well. I guess you learn to breathe better so you don’t die. Is that the only choice? I’m happy when your lungs give out first, I don’t completely hate your cigarettes after all.
You tell me that I only loved you because I wanted to be hurt. That hurt people write things that people want to read. For some reason you believe that readers are always sad, that happy people do different things. Like stare at sunsets or something. I don’t get it because I was carrying around books before letters made sense to me. Are you saying I was sad when I was three? Four? Five? When I stumbled and fell I cried but sadness back then was so temporary. I can only remember fragments of pain, the rest is nothing. I remember the good things sometimes. Those memories flood in slower, it hurts sometimes that they move so lazily, but they are always intoxicating.
A boy broke my heart once. That memory comes quickly, easily, snap snap snap my fingers and he’s there. He doesn’t know what to say to me three years later when he realizes I have grown into my face and my body, my confidence too. He stumbles when he realizes that apologies no longer jump to my lips. He pays for our lunch and I stumble because I realize I simply don’t care anymore.
Those bad memories they come quickly.
Snap and I’m in a hospital staring at a tiny little trash cans and wondering why they don’t make them bigger. Snap and I’m in the same damn hospital wondering why all the walls are these ugly colors, why the waiting room doesn’t have enough light, wondering what kind of magazines they put in here believing they could actually distract you from real pain.
Snap and I’m in a yard getting a phone call, breaking my heart, saying goodbyes, pulling over on the side of the road because I’m crying too hard to drive home. Convincing myself ITS OKAY ITS OKAY ITS OKAY.
I’ve failed two papers.
That boy won’t look me in the eyes any more. We used to be friends. Now he can’t even tell me that he used me. NOW NOW NOW I think, things will be fine.
Blink your eyes less quickly, but the memories still come. Faster, faster, faster.
I’m not that worried anymore. They move into me and leave, they are pinpricks. They give me headaches but they don’t last.
The good times move in more slowly. In a haze. They are warm, instant, like hot chocolate on a bitter day. They are the softest mattress, 100 on a test you studied really hard for, a smile from a cute stranger.
moves slowly but these memories
they fill my dreams. I feel okay I FEEL OKAY.
I tell you you’re right.
I loved you because I wanted to be hurt so I could write
things people would read
but at least I loved you
for a moment.