I like the way your hands
move in the sunlight. Even better,
I like the way your hands move
against skin that does not
belong to you. You say so much
but really you keep the most
important words to yourself.
Or better yet, you write that chaotic
mess of meaning into poetry.
How do you do it? How can you
love so many but insist
that you do not deserve
the same love in return? I’ve never
met someone as selfless
as you. I’ve never come across
another person who is able to
give others the amount of hope
that you do. So why not give
some of that energy to yourself?
You’ve spent so much of your time
trying to fix the broken pieces
of those who will just leave
once they are patched up.
Do you think that’s fair? Do you
think that’s love? Have you tried
stitching up your own wounds
before using that thread
on someone who will only end up
tearing it out. Now I know that this
reads more like a lesson
than it does a love poem,
but I am being aggressive because
I love you more than anyone
could ever promise. I hope you
don’t hate me after this. I hope
you don’t see your faults
as flaws, or your dedication
as something that should be
removed. You are beautiful,
and you are as gentle as the way
the morning kisses the mist.
So please, try to love yourself
more. Try to see that you are
much more than a nurturer
to the weak. Try to see that you
need love just as much
as those who have been swallowed
by their own darkness.
You radiate so much light
that I know it can be hard to see
the shadows in your eyes.
But I see them, and I know you are
not as strong as you say.
So turn over your open sign,
lock the doors and use your time
off to say to yourself what you
always seem to say to others;
you are beautiful and you will
survive, I promise. Because if
there is anyone that can turn
their pain into poetry, their pain
into a new way of healing,
i. i hope they tell you i was beautiful, that i held the galaxy in my hands, had stars in my eyes- i hope they show you a picture and you see the sun in my smile.
ii. i hope they tell you that i cared, that i never stopped caring, that those pills may have kept my heart from beating, my lungs from breathing- but darling they didn’t stop me loving you.
iii. i hope they tell you not to cry, that tsunamis do not bring back the dead, that you cannot bring back the dead. there is no use in crying over things you cannot fix. i know, i tried. look where that got me.
iv. i hope they tell you i tried. darling i tried. you were barely a year old, wide eyes and innocent giggles- i wanted to be there when you took your first steps. i wanted to be there when you first learned the world would hit you hard. i wanted to be there to pick you up again.
v. i hope they tell you that it’s okay to not be okay. i hope they explain that artwork on your canvas wrists will not make it better, that bruises will not make you beautiful. i hope they tell you that i thought you were beautiful.
vi. i hope they tell you that i loved you, but darling sometimes love is not a weapon strong enough to battle darkness. but darling i hope they tell you i battled- i fought until i couldn’t. but i loved you through it all.
I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me. I was afraid. I am not worthy of you. But I still love you, I think.
Don’t try and find me again, you would be lonely for music. I want you to be happy. I want you to marry again. I’m going to write out instructions for your next wife.
To my husband’s next wife: Be gentle. Be sure you comb his hair when it’s wet. Do not fail to notice that his face flushes pink like a bride’s when you kiss him. Give him lots to eat. He forgets to eat and he gets cranky.
When he is sad, kiss his forehead and I will thank you. For he is a young prince and his robes are too heavy on him. His crown falls down around his ears.
I’ll give this letter to a worm. I hope he finds you.
She moved on and I feel sorry for you, because she overlooked your flaws, your temper, your selfishness, your inability to love anyone but yourself. She could have anyone in the world, but she still chose you every time. All you are now is a crease in her past, a scar on her chest, a memory that fades faster than a photograph of you in a sealed box, hidden. Maybe now she will fight for someone who loves her, instead of someone who sucks the life out of her, never satisfied, even with her beating heart in his greedy hands.