on many of these summer weekends, i ignore the heat and do nothing but sleep, hiding under soft blue caves made of sheets and quilts, letting myself drown in sweat, swaddling myself in a cocoon so tight, if i squeeze my eyes shut, i can feel past the colors to something almost like arms. when i awake, i watch the walls for hours, trying to ignore the constricting strings inside my chest, pulling me towards the truth. when i push myself out the door, i walk around singing and talking, accepting the pain but knowing acceptance won’t push it away, only letting myself miss you hard when i notice the aloneness in laughter.
some days i wonder if you really are gone or if you’re out there somewhere, lost but within my reach if i were to stretch out far enough. on those days i can watch the sun beat down on our heads and smile at the thought of the summer that has begun, quiver with anticipation and excitement over new choices and new people, praying that maybe once the sun backs away from our world and allows a chill to creep back over our skin, you will be there to laugh the cold away with me like we used to. i can look at old pictures and think to myself that they were all true, that the looks on our faces couldn’t have been forced or painted on by illusions of calm that never existed. on these blind days, i let myself hope these endings never happened.
but there are things i can’t pretend. you don’t make me happy anymore. happiness is not the priority here anymore; happiness and love are two separate things now. happiness is everyone who smiled in spite of rising waters and flames and stood their ground. love is fingernails digging into skin and a peace that hurts.