Warm

Be warm.
This is not for others.
This is not to keep them comfortable.
This is for you.
Your heat is how you know you’re alive.

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Twenty-Six

I wish I could say things will be different now, but I’m impatient. I want what I want and it’s not easy. It takes all of me. I’ve sat two decades under damp soil. I’m impatient.

You should have more by now. Have more and want less. Want normal. Want peace. Keep still and learn to float. Make them proud. The ones that are here and the ones that you’ve lost. You’re learning to manage. You’ve fallen apart.

And you’ve built worlds. And you’ve lost hope. And you’ve spoken things to life, and you’ve laid a lot to rest. Are you smarter now? What have you learned? Have you learned?

Love when you feel it so you don’t regret it again. Let him go. Love. Love what you do, love who you’ve been. Remember that you’re alive and that’s something.

Are you different now? Do you feel any different?

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State of Matter

Do you remember when it became too much? When you sat across from me and I told you I had welded a key meant for unlocking worlds. I told you there was a place for you. That it was built for you. But not just you, and not just me. It was bigger. Do you remember?

And your hands began to melt all over the table. You reached for your glass but it slid right through. I cut my finger picking up the pieces. You lost your nerve trying to put it back together. 

I shouldn’t have to apologize for starting a fire. We’re just atoms, we’re supposed to change state in heat. Vibrate faster, expand, become air. You’re going against your nature.

I can’t wait for you to grow. 

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More Than Water

I’d made a habit of telling you what hurt. I always had a new problem for you that needed solving. A fresh catastrophe from which I needed rescuing. I think it gave you something to spend your time on. I think it gave you some use.

But then I found a thing I needed more than water. Afraid to die of thirst, I’d take too much and lose my air. I’d come back for you to drain me dry and squeeze me out and press me flat. Still, I’d plunge back in to soak it up, and you’d be there on the shore to watch it end.

I could’ve done with a little faith in your encouragement. Maybe my drowning made you feel justified in never bothering to swim. But in drifting this way, I’ve lost sight of the shore and I’m filled to the brim and I’ve learned how to float.

So now that I don’t need saving, tell me, what will you do with your day?

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Thirty Degrees

He likes to be alone when he’s angry. He likes to stew in it and draw this mental venn diagram of all the things he knows to be right and all the ways I’ve fucked up and all the ways that he has compromised. He wants me to “give him a minute”—like we’ve got that kind of luxury in this tiny midtown apartment— and I’m trying to find out how to walk around him without invading his space. He forces me out of his space when he feels I’ve lost the right to be there, so I give him what he needs and I grab my keys and leave.

The winter is like a slap in the face, my cheeks pink and my eyes water and I don’t have anywhere to go. I pull my coat shut and head west toward—I don’t know. Somewhere else, somewhere warm. Somewhere farther than last time, so he can nurse what I’ve broken and I can remember what it’s like to have the capability of keeping things whole. Even now, I know it’s only an hour or so that I’ve got to kill before he starts to thaw to the idea of me again. I know I can go home long before I do. My cheeks pink up and my eyes water. God, what have I done to him that he should burn himself into soot to keep me out of the cold?

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