You. Piles of calendars couldn’t say how much ink I splattered on you, writing tears. You were my realization, a sign held up to my face at a protest, and I couldn’t look away. I could never look away from you. We were the same, but we were so different—perfume bottles from the same set, you’d fill my head until I could think of no one but you with your smile as you teased me with your words until I couldn’t stand, strawberries bursting across my cheeks. You thought it was so funny, how I dipped the sweet thing into sugar, but don’t you know that even the sweetest thing can always get sweeter?
You said you loved my eyes. I would glance my eyes and see you and your eyes, but you would flit away like the beautiful butterfly you are, your wings brushing mine as you’d lean over and ask if I wanted to study with you? And I’d drink iced coffee with you at 3:00 in the afternoon, even though I don’t drink coffee after 12:00, I’d sip it with you. And then I wouldn’t be able to sleep, but it was okay since I’d talk to you, in our language we knew so well. My wings would beat rapidly when you winked, when you pulled me in for a dip because you decided you wanted to salsa in the hallway.
I flew away with you, but you wouldn’t answer and all of a sudden I’d be off course, pushed off by wind and stinging hail, they pierced me and suddenly I was falling, broken, pushed over by fear and regret, landing on rocks and staring at the sky that didn’t seem to sparkle anymore and crushed flowers filling me with perfumed scent that I couldn’t smell, because couldn’t you see our bottles were broken? Spilled on gone grass in an empty field, when I decided to walk away from you so you wouldn’t walk away from me. I turned my head to the beating of your wings, until they got so faint, I couldn’t hear them anymore.
You. You passed me the joint and I passed you my heart. Eyes shimmering, we lay in the grass and my heart thundered like the music we played, loud and screaming. I would open my eyes and see you and your eyes, and I would say, “What?” But caught, you always shook your head and looked away, yet I could feel the weight of your gaze like my coat, when we shivered running through the rain, pressed together under my ripped umbrella, mascara smudging but you were still beautiful.
You weren’t like the first one, no, with you I pushed away regret and all smart thoughts and went like a rumbling train that just wants to travel, and I didn’t listen to anyone when I bought a ticket, I jumped on and you caught me, didn’t you? You caught me when I told you, and kissed me, slow under the stars, how did we know we’d be so cliché? Fingers to my lips, I felt it for months, you marked my ticket. I was yours. And my train stormed on, except you would pretend you were riding it with me.
I’d be holding on to the rails and when I questioned what I was doing, you’d take my hands, and look at me with those green eyes, and next thing I knew I was staying, staying on the train that started to smell. And once you stopped coming to my cabin, I jumped off it, rolling through spiky hills, scratches for you. Except you ran after me. Muddy and streaked with dirt, a beautiful ghost latching onto my shoulder, and I brushed it off and kept running. I found how mine wasn’t the only train you’d been on, hanging off the rails and laughing, you are a girl who can be in two places at once and I never knew. Scratches scabbed over like they do, shiny and new and raw. Ready to hurt again.
You. The closest I’ve ever allowed myself to be. I gave you numbers and you thought that was hot, and I liked working for your smile. It was smooth with you, easy coffee dates with too-expensive coffee but I didn’t regret it, not then, didn’t regret giggling with you and looking for books to read because we were the biggest nerds, you made my heart run marathons, breathless and light as wind. We made promises to each other how we would take care of each other and easy as that, we jumped.
No butterflies or trains for you, with you it was a free-fall. I held your hand and you held mine, together we stepped off the cliff. Wind in our hair it was exhilarating, we fit and when you’d cry, I’d hold you, and being sick didn’t stop either of us. Donuts on your bed and episodes we would start and never finish, the distraction that you were. Days in parks chills would run up and down my arms so you’d hold them for me to keep my heart warm. Falling. But we fell together.
The thing about free-falling, without a parachute, you crash. You crash, and the sky doesn’t care where you fall, on sparkling waters or soft sand, no the sky drops you harsh on your back and you need to get up. You disabled my parachute when you started to be like dark chocolate, leaving a funny taste in my mouth as I felt it in my throat, trying not to cry. You ripped it and it didn’t open, and next thing I knew I fell through the broken trees. Parachute in shreds around me and snagged on the bristles, I would clear the grass from my eyes and look for you and your eyes, but they were averted, closed to me forever. Brushing your eyelashes and holding your tears as we cried on the corner when we knew it was over. Broken wings and ripped train tickets welcome the pack I shrug off my shoulders, faulty thing that was meant to protect me this time.