To my old lover, 

You showed up last night at my porch. Soaked to your sunken bones convinced in your head that we can make this work. But we can’t. And even if we could, what made you think that I would want to. Because I don’t and your shivering lips on my lips don’t change anything. Your sighs settle on my skin and refuse to leave, and now I’m covered with wounds that bleed down to my ankle. 

Don’t go drinking dew drops from leaf blades and convince yourself that I would approve. Don’t go jumping in puddles thinking I would have laced your fingers in mine and gasped. Don’t you fucking dare shove me against the door and kiss me like everything is all right. And don’t you take my treacherous moans to be white flags fluttering against your breaths. 

We can’t even look at each other without running back to our rooms only to fall down like dirty laundry. And now it’s so goddamn hard to walk the way one does, because all we do is crawl to stop our spines from crushing on our souls. I have heard your back hurts so much that you scream in your pillow and they see fingernail marks in your wrists that appear every night. You have to tug me out of your skin or we may never learn to walk again. You have to extract me and cast me aside for your spine groans under our collective weight. 

If you smoke these nights waiting for me to see you at the end, then smoke away. I have learnt to collapse in arms with no promises of tomorrow. I have learnt to not drown everytime my friend plays “Sing me to sleep” just because you used to sing it to me in that ridiculous falsetto. I have learnt to not call you completely wasted and out of my senses, my shoes tied around my neck. Because now my skin doesn’t remember your musk and I’m glad. I’m glad I no longer have to be numb waist down to override that pain in my chest. I’m glad I don’t need to cut my nails lest I scratch my skin off in my sleep. I’m glad I don’t have to starve myself because my brain refuses to allow my body to function. 

And as for you, you have to shrug me off of you, and gently nudge me away like the letters from the summer of ’99 you refuse to open. You have to let me fall like the black ink pot in your room that always finds a way to break no matter what. You have to let me go because love is part holding on, and part letting go. Let me fall like the feather you collected in the woods. Let me fall like that orange kite you lost to a stray gust of wind. Let me fall like baby tears. Please, let me fall not like a backpack you took for a hiking trip; but like the cashmere scarf your mother tied around your bleeding elbow when you tripped in that Bougainvillea garden. 

Please don’t weep at the altar thinking your Lord would intervene. Please don’t sit in your car after office hours thinking where did we go wrong. Please don’t crush the Styrofoam cup as if it’s my wrist writhing beneath your fingers. Please don’t stay up with a crate and the flickering bulb as your witnesses. 

It’s time to stop walking on all fours. You hear me? 

– A

23 thoughts on “Unlove 

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