A love letter from those of us who keep leaving.

1) Every morning for one hundred and eighty-six days, you wrote the word breathe on my inner thigh so that the most tender part of me will remind both you and I to stay alive.

2) When we first met, I told you that my foot was tired of always holding the door half-open in case I needed to flee. You told me you were a runner – you’d catch up.

3) Of all the things I didn’t believe in, you said my lack of faith in love was the only thing that made me blasphemous. You kissed my hands and said you’d help me repent.

4) I have called your hips a temple and fallen to my knees in prayer three times a day for one hundred and eighty-six days. I have named your lips confessional booths and whispered into them all the sins I intended to commit in your name. I was born-again.

5) Your eyes committed massacres on every inch of my skin they fell on.

I accepted martyrdom with a smile.

6) Last week, I told you that I had blisters all over my feet from searching for feeling in these hollowed out streets. I told you that I had given myself wholly to roads that led me nowhere, but I ended up at your doorstep and fuck if that wasn’t the heaven at the end of my hell of a tunnel. You told me you would never let me go.

7) I told you that wasn’t what I was afraid of.

8) You always knew that my hands were too unstable to hold you, but still I have called you sticky sweet – said you stuck me back together with the sugar on your tongue, said you licked the fucked up right off of me the moment your lips met my skin.

You didn’t always believe what I told you.

So I tell you over and over; I mean everything I say.

9) Please don’t let me let you go.

10) My mother told me that I was diagnosed with insomnia at six years old. Fifteen years later, when I cannot sleep: I call your body my scripture and run my fingers through the braille of your skin; count the holy cells of your body until I can finally rest.

11) In your skin cells lie answers to every question I have ever asked myself.

12) One night, I whispered that I bet you’ve never seen a full moon, and that I bet that every time you’ve looked at a night sky, you were greeted by a crescent.

I’ve never told you why.

13) Forgive me;

I have always been lost and wandering.

14) Forgive me;

I can not get myself to sit still.

15) Please forgive me; I really thought naming your neck home would mean I’d always come back.

16) One hundred and eighty-six days ago, when you told me you were a runner, my feet started training every night when we were asleep to make sure you’d never catch up to me.

17) But I was still heartbroken when I looked behind me and saw you were so far back, it looked like the sunset had swallowed you.

18) I’m sorry I had to go. I’m sorry all the work you’ve put into me hasn’t paid off.

19) Forgive me, Lover, for I have sinned because:

20) Even though I meant everything I ever said,

21) I still couldn’t get myself to stay.

22) But I don’t want you to forget me. (Please, please, never forget me.)

23) So, my former darling, when you look up,

24) And you find another crescent,

25) (It’s because even God can’t stop smiling at your face.)

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Skin

I am a glass bowl.
My goldfish heart
needs to be reminded
every five seconds
of who it really is
and more often than
not, I just swim
around in circles
trying to figure out
how and when I drowned.
But I keep sinking
and rock bottom keeps
pulling away from me
and I miss the feel
of solid ground beneath
my feet and my mother
once told me that
falling is just another
form of flying so I have
made a home of this
chronic descent.
I am the product of
everything that has ever
brought me to my knees.
I am the product of
decades’ worth of scraped
skin and I know I have
made my own bed and I
know that the polite thing
to do is to just
lay in it but I swear
that I have forgotten
how to lay still.
Teach me
to remember.
Teach me
to open my hands because
I’ve closed them off
for so long that I
have even forgotten how
to hold myself.
But understand:
I am neither  unbreakable
nor fragile.
I am all these
stories trying to claw
their way out of skin
and I will not rest
until I’ve spoken.
Understand:
I am restless, reader.
Understand:
this isn’t art or beauty,
what I do to myself on a
daily basis, and this is neither
joy nor sadness, what you
see on my face, but I will
breathe in this
water and quietly will it
to seep out of my fingers
in ink because my goldfish
heart has lived too many
lives in a lifetime and
all I’m left with are
these stories so
understand me when I say:
I am learning to breathe
unconventionally. My
pen is cutting gills through
my skin. I am learning to
breathe and I am teaching
myself resilience.
I am a glass bowl and
today my heart
is a goldfish, but I am
working on it becoming
that ray of light reflecting
colours on the walls
of my chest, and reader;
I promise that one day,
I will get there.