Fleeting Words

an open letter

You are not a missing puzzle piece, a chapter ripped from a book, or an old dusty photograph torn right down the middle. You are not a shattered coffee mug, a half-empty box of chocolates, or a string of lights that won’t shine because of one cracked bulb. 

I know you feel like half of your heart is missing, but I am telling you now that you can be broken while still being whole. And even if you are cracked, if you are shattered, if you are so covered in fissures that I cannot see one inch of skin unscathed; I promise that one day, maybe soon and maybe far from now, you will wake up with a new set of skin, strong enough to stitch you up and hold your bones together. 

And I know it seems hard to wait. To wake each day with a new set of holes that you thought you filled with prayers and coffee and alcohol, only to see that your stitches were too loose and your heart is still pouring out of you, makes it seem like you will always be a sieve. But soon enough my dear your skin will heal, and your body that once knew so well how to hold on will hold you together again. 

You have crossed an ocean so vast that most would have capsized; most would have plunged quietly into the cold water and never come back up for air. You have faced the test of heartbreak, and you are still here. So shake the salty water from your hair and your skirt and you heart, and climb up here on shore. You may still be soaking wet, but now you are standing on solid ground.

and maybe then I can finally show you

I want to take all of your flaws

and frame them on our living room wall

so that you can understand 

that you are beautiful

and that I am proud of you

I want to take everything I love about you

and tape each piece to a movie reel

so that whenever you are feeling lost

I can show you the curve of your elbow

or the way your chest rises and falls while you sleep

to explain the subtle beauty

of you

I wish I could take every piece of you

and cover them with kisses and adoration

so that maybe then

my love will saturate every pore so deeply 

and you can finally learn

to love yourself

for even just one minute

the way I love you

every second

of every day. 

I feel a tug in my heart

whenever I see your name

and that is all I know

(maybe I miss you). 

and in an effort 

to make each relationship much more meaningful

the government limited each person too only one I love you 

in a lifetime 

mothers didn’t say I love you to their children

because they had already used their one chance on their husband

on their first night together as a married couple

reckless teenagers wasted theirs on young love and lustful exchanges, 

spending the rest of their life

trying to show their love without words.

and cautious men,

saved their I love you for just before death

in order to see who was there at the end; who really deserves to hear it

after all of this time. 

in an effort

to make each relationship more meaningful 

we now spend our time waiting for love, or looking back on past love

instead of

just loving

and even after all this time

I still can’t forget the way

you asked my permission

to kiss my bare shoulder

my neck, my lips

and how when I nodded

you ran your fingers across my collarbone 

and traced your name into my skin

you kissed me in an elevator ten months ago,

and your name still burns hot in my heart

hurts when I try to say it out loud

I don’t want to be told 

that the stars are beautiful

despite the fact that they exploded

and their light is just reaching us now.

I want to be told

that the stars are beautiful

because of the fact

that their light traveled from so far, even though

the stars itself may already be gone.

their light is a reminder

that even after death,

a star can illuminate

even the darkest of nights.

I think the saddest phrase in the english language

is used to be

(we used to be friends

I used to be hopeful

we used to be in love

I used to be happy)

used to be

I think it really means I’ve lost something I love

and I don’t know how to get it back 

to the girl who will eventually break his heart

I hope you can understand

that even though he tells everyone he doesn’t like chocolate,  

he does, because at the end, chocolate is one of the few things he could give his mom to make her smile 

but it also reminds him of the end, and that’s why he says he doesn’t like it. 

and I hope you know

that he prefers tea to coffee,

but will ask for coffee because he thinks its more sophisticated,

but if you bring him tea instead, he will smile so wide

I swear it could light the stars on fire

and I hope he never tells you

about the way he whispered I love you

into my tangled hair one night when he thought I was already asleep

because if he tells you that

it means he and I are really over. 

and then what am I supposed to do

with a heart only he can stich up? 

I sometimes wish

that I could give you a tape

of every time I thought of you

so you could understand 

how deeply I feel for you

if love is an ocean, I’m drowning.