Some nights I wake

to the realization

that I can’t remember

what your voice sounds like.

I can’t remember

the curve of your lips

or the cadence of your laugh

in an empty room,

resonating like a plucked harp string,

like my plucked heart strings,

the ones you snapped

between your fingers

while you choked.

They say

to put on your own oxygen mask

before you help others.

But how do I swim to shore

when the boy that’s drowning beside me

lashes out

like a bullwhip,

how do we choose to save ourselves

when the people we love

are suffocating

as we speak?


I forget you’re gone,

that you ever existed,

and although these moments are fleeting,

like the moments with you I recall

at 3 am when the world is silent,

I can’t help but feel guilty

for letting myself neglect your memory.

Some nights ago

I woke in tears

from a dream of you,

another you,

a happier you;

from another time,

a happier time.

And sometimes,

when I think

I see you

in a crowd of not-you’s,

I can’t help but wonder

if you’re just stopping by

to visit

the world

that never loved you.


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