Leaving without him (we knew this day would come...)

My childhood lover is growing up and I guess I must be too.
Thoughts of Halloween and weekend dates have been replaced with dreams of grocery trips and speaking up on a stage.

It’s strange to see you in this light, love- standing tall and strong to kiss me goodbye.

The past five years are a blur behind both our eyes. The sleepless nights, the symphony of sighs and slamming doors. The shaking hands. And then finding ourselves where we started, united and in love once again. Repeat.

It’s crazy how the stakes can rise from the smallest things- as if we never tried
to see each other
to speak with love
to show compassion in the face of one another’s fears.

Yet I’m blown away, even in his darkest days, by the infinite kindness and caring in the man I married. He sees down to my core before I say a word.

He mastered time and language, conquering his own humanity for me. Just to see me smile.

And yet?

It’s as if, sometime around midnight, he’s never enough. (And neither am I, and we could never be. What the hell are we even doing?)

Fickle and ferocious, my storms rage on. Crying in the bathtub, knees to my aching, gaping chest. He sees me break.

And then he changes me.

Not on purpose, just by chance.
He sees me crash and implode, toxic devastation for eternity brewing behind my eyes.

And rather than run? He roots down deep.

He knows it’s likely one of us will have to spend some days alone. Yet he stays.

The moments I give up, he reminds me I am here. That I want to leave something behind so they won’t forget I was here.

We go to bed, my soul an infected gash on these nights. But in the morning, the rays of sunshine tangle up around his face and body.

The city is haunted by the ghosts of our failures, but the daylight seems to want him just as much as I do.

It’s time for me to go now.

I can’t pretend that I can tell you what is going to happen next (or how to be).

You ask me for honesty and I say just come with me, please (I can’t).

Then don’t worry, my love, because the end is coming soon. Before you know it, you’ll be here with me and I’ll dance around our room.

It would be easier, I think, to shut it all down- not missing you in this new town.

But you taught me the truth: it’s better to love whether you win or lose or die. So here or there or as ashes in the sky- I promise I will love you until the end of time.

Words for you, until our next kiss.

A found poem from some of our favorite songs.

Jessica Pena