There are hours of the night when time stands still. Most of these hours lead to the gray light of dawn, the sudden realization that a new day has come to wear still more on my patience.

These mornings are the hardest. I lose that first moment in waking when I forget what has been taken from me. To spend so long in waking is like unraveling, slowly, but with the force of an atomic bomb all the same, startling the birds inside my rib cage, feathers tickling my lungs and heart into a frenzy just before they collapse and shut down from all the pressure building inside, breaking the bones that I have so often failed to heal.

My ears ring so often that I have come to recognize it as the new and complete silence in his wake.   

And yet sleep itself is a risk. I fear the mornings that I wake from dreams that are just that, dreams, and find salt and tangled sheets in the place of phantom arms and lips I found in sleep. Arms that will never again wrap around me, lips that will never find mine in this life.

A voice that will never again calm my tremors in one nicotine-breath. No scent of sweat and cigarettes and wind. No life behind golden-green eyes. 

I’ve never met a person more alive, and yet he’s become my favorite ghost to chase. To see around every corner, to chase down every dark highway despite the permanence of our separation.

How hard could it have been to stay with me, or for me at least?

I guess I just wasn’t enough.


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