I've missed another— 𝔸 ℂ𝕠𝕣𝕟𝕖𝕣𝕖𝕕 𝔾𝕦𝕣𝕝 (@trEisthename) April 4, 2021
another string of
or days marked important
for some reason
or another and
me remember your
how honey would
sit on them
waiting to be
licked by you#poetry #NaPoWriMo2021#LGBTQ #love #Easter pic.twitter.com/EhWjHnGtL5
I’m stuck in this place
shut-in an inescapable destination
she lies about her love
and I wait for the moment
she confesses–it never comes
I am a forgiving person
I think–“she’ll come to her
but there is no soon
and I grow tired of
standing by a shaky
it is flawed and broken
lately, I’ve been feeling
flawed and broken too
finally, she waltzes in
with gifts and sweet apologies
that melt my heart
I’m putty, a weakling
she has me right where
she wants me . . .
falling back into
her world, forsaking
and forgetting mine
And how odd was the image of you that crept into the recesses of my mind as I looked on at a bond that began quickly, kept up with the changing of the times over the years, then pent itself into harm’s way by backing into a proverbial wall. Years later, that wall was torn down and those same souls who’d bonded quickly built the strength of their love up to a level that none of us can touch.
That is Salt. That is Pepa.
That is missing you. That is remembering graphic pictures sent to my phone. Skintight jeans cuffed at the ankles. Spaghetti strap tops. Fishnet stockings covering naked legs and supple ass cheeks. No panties . . . You were a voluptuous work of modern-day art and I salivated at your will.
Beckoned and Called.
I was younger then. Way younger. And I hungered for you. Those flicks kept me satisfied when distance had been too much to bear. I knew you were probably watching the biopic last night too and being overly-critical.
I was Salt. You were Pepa. And the difference between us versus them is we had lust pockets purging our friendship into a nasty ball while we allowed our feelings to turn into something bigger. I fell too hard, though. Something I was prone to doing many moons ago.
You pointed that out. My kind of love was not what you had been seeking. Still, you threw your bait at me and I swam to it like an eager fish. I had many nets. If I could have chosen, all of them would have caught you.
We didn’t part ways like adults should have. You stopped talking to me when you figured out the way I love could never satisfy you. I found that out five years later after dreading another ghost. It’s hard tracing the tracks of someone who never leaves footprints.
The music of our youth reached my ears and “The First Ladies of Hip Hop” reminded me of you and what I put you through and what you put me through and I wanted to pull them both into an embrace and tell them how brave they are for shooting the shit publicly and apologizing to one another for their wrongdoings.
We could NEVER be that mature.
Knowing when to finally let go
I left without saying goodbye. I did it because it was time. I knew it. I know you knew it. Why were we hanging on? There was love . . . there was old love that flickered as a reminder that my heart would keep breaking if the cycle continued and I did not want it to, so I broke the cycle. I should have been brave enough to say goodbye. I should have had the courage to tell you why I was leaving.
We’d managed to be what others thought we were for over a decade knowing damn well who we actually were and I guess that didn’t bother you but it sure as hell ate at the core of who I am. It stopped me from living freely.
The day I left, it felt right — like a rite of passage — something meant to cross me over into or on to a higher plane. I backed away slowly, taking everything familiar to us with me.
I had no plan of action.
The days that followed soon after, haunted me. There were photos of you up, gifts that you’d given scattered around my home, and scents you would wear. I had to erase them all. I had to get rid of them. It was a time of cleansing — burning sage and lighting candles became a frequent pastime yet you still remained.
I’d been doing fine, seven months had passed. Until one day . . . I was looking for an older photo of Jernee to share with someone and there you were, with the kids . . . All of you smiling. All of you happy. You staring back at the camera with a plump, dimpled cheek, and I lost a little bit of strength that built itself inside me. The tower fell. The wall came crumbling down.
Every brick that was laid crushed right before my eyes. I was breaking . . . again. And you wouldn’t know it.
I wake up sporadically during the night.
The other night, I had been awakened from a deep sleep by the urge to pee and the theme music from Pinky and the Brain playing in my head. How odd, I thought. Not the urge to pee, but the theme music. Why Pinky and the Brain? Why a cartoon from a time I vaguely remember? You’d know. I know you’d know. But I couldn’t ask you. It was late and it’d been nine months. And anyway, how would I start off that conversation?
“Hey, you’re asleep, I know . . . but when you wake up, you’ll see this — I had to leave. I was an ass for the way I left but it doesn’t seem like you mind. Why in the hell is Pinky and the Brain’s theme music popping up in my head in the middle of the night?”
You would scoff at the audacity of my untimely text message the moment you saw it. You’d curse under your breath, angrily. You wouldn’t want to wake anyone else up. You’d probably say something like, “How the fuck should I know, Tre? Are you okay? I know . . . I understand. But you still could have said something. I hate you for that.”
You were witty and forthcoming with just the right amount of bite in every word. The South does that to biracial women who are activists fighting to be seen. Fighting to be heard. Fighting to let others know they’re just as black as the rest of their people. And I loved that about you.
I haven’t found anyone else.
Not that it matters. Not that you care. Not that I expect you to. I left but you had done so years before and the door was slightly ajar. I had grown tired of looking at it that way — a sliver of opportunity for you to come waltzing back in. I closed it.
Funny thing is, I thought you’d appear with a key and open it. But that’s just a dream. And we were just a thing that probably should have never been that thing but it still hurts.
I don’t speak your name in therapy. I give just a little and keep the rest to myself. My therapist cuts through every inked blot and tells me like it is, “When you’re ready to share, I’m ready to listen. When you’re ready to heal, I’m ready to help.” And I know I’m ready to heal. I’ve been ready to heal. So what the hell am I afraid of?
I have an inkling I’m not alone in this. Many of us have that one person who stripped us of ourselves and left us with a gaping hole in our hearts. We have to move on, right? We must move on. The hard part is no one tells you that months or years later, reminders sneak up on you and restore some of those faded memories.
The fight then becomes keeping your sanity versus allowing those reminders to take over and win. How often are we telling ourselves, “I am more important than what we were? I have a right to heal and be happy.”
The truth is, there will always be a person with whom you connect intensely and if and when your relationship with that person ends, you are still you. You have to find a way to remain you and not lose yourself because of them.
You can move on or waste your time sitting around waiting for an apology that will never come. You don’t need it. Trust me, you only think you do.
And yes, I tell myself this too. And now, I finally believe it.
A Prose Poem
I flinch every time I hear the word “honey” used as a term of endearment. You clung to it — it was one of your favorites. “Honey, this” and “Honey, that.” I damn near vomited from the overwhelming sweetness of its usage. We wandered separately for what felt like eons — casually loving others, then solemnly returning to what we’d built . . . what we’d taken a chance on designing. I was never too attached to the bigger things in life. Many have said we would fail — too different, they uttered. But we held on to the missage offered to one another that “opposites attract.”
I want my ring back . . . Selfish, yes? Of course, you’d think this. I’ve spent many nights watching you flirt with anyone who would lend you an ear and a free drink and I am almost sad to say, I should have had my eyes open wide enough. I should have been open to seeing you for who you really were.
I should have known who I really was.
Isn’t that the way of these types of things? You find yourself standing on a ground firm enough to hold your weight, yet you don’t really know if you won’t fall straight through to another dimension just as easily as you landed in the current one.
I’m rambling, I know. You hate that.
But, hear me out . . . Given our current situation, this day was bound to happen. I knew the moment the calls stopped. I further knew the day I packed my last bag and you followed me to the door, touched my right hand gently, pursed your lips, then backed away. The love we shared left us feeling vacant. Months before, unbeknownst to us, we were evicted. Pink-slipped and hurried along to make room for two more women who would find themselves in the same situation five years from now.
I knew you loved him.
I ignored it.
I knew you loved me.
I held on to that.
One was not greater
than the other.
And I thought it was.
That was my mistake.
I settled into a loft — open layout, in a nicer neighborhood. The cat sadly meows in my direction daily — he misses you. You were his favorite even though he is mine. You come by weekly to be with him — to give him the attention he craves. To shower him with your scent. And it is hard for me to see you strutting around as fiercely as you do without being able to wrap you up in my arms and lean into your musk. I tame myself — a shrew, learning to do what is most important — to unlove you.
You tell me this man understands you — that he hears you when you speak. That you have everything you have ever wanted in a partner but he does not hold you. He lacks empathy. He is okay with having you away days on end — he doesn’t need you near him. I nod. I listen. I say that it’s still early and you have to grow together just as we did. I feign acceptance of your new relationship but I see it crumbling in the back of my mind.
You are a whole being.
You think you are half.
You don’t need anyone
to complete you.
But, you think you do.
This is what ended us.
This is why we’re here.
And we weren’t built for “I told you so” and I wouldn’t dare say it.
I tell myself the best part about us not being us anymore is learning who you are without me — it’s learning who I am without you.
Originally published in Intimately Intricate via Medium. Beautiful people, I wish you a happy holiday season for whatever it is you celebrate and that you’ll be safe, loved, connected, and secure. I am taking a short break and will be active again on Sunday, December 27, 2020. Peace and blessings.