Afraid to Go Back There

I booked the nicest suite in the hotel by the beach. I lit the tea light candles around the room and made it into our oasis. I got caught in a rainstorm with you and had to run through it in sandals so we could crawl back under the covers and spend the night accompanied by the flicker of candlelight and your skin against mine. I studied the art murals. Okay, that’s a lie. I studied you while you studied the art. I watched as your face lit up on the boardwalk. I shared my ice cream and admired the smile on your face as you finished the cone. I traded in our ski ball tokens for matching candy bracelets. I braved the ocean to chase you to the ends of the earth. I smiled as we downed our third round of cocktails on the sand. I sipped frosé until I lost all inhibitions and turned into a sexual deviant. I watched as you admired each freckle on my sun-kissed skin, wishing you would reach down and press your lips to each one that swept over my chest. I laughed as you admired my curls from the salty air. I whispered I love you for the first time. And then I said it again. I giggled as you did a happy dance reading the dinner menu each night. I, poorly, resisted the urge to keep my hands off of you at the dinner table. I flashed my camera as you took your first bite, white wine draped between your fingertips. I captured the moment of you, peering into the sunset and taking a picture of the way it set over the lake with the American flag waving in the wind. I set the picture as my phone wallpaper. I interlaced your fingers in mine as we explored the town. I nibbled on hash browns after you took a picture with your first Dunkin’ donut. I giggled like a child when you whispered, “thank you,” each time I pressed a soft kiss to your forehead. I smiled for bathroom photo shoots. I felt the safety of your arms around me as you clung to me in the pool. I fell in love. Over and over again. Harder than ever. With no way of resurfacing for air.

February, Part One

Chapter One: Losing Him, Finding You

A month that had stood for all that was lost
None of us knew how much it could cost

Cameras flashing at me,
They must’ve heard the news
Wounds were exposed
and it ripped me in two

Bleeding out,
Felt like an endless well
Never ending, stuck in this hell

You came out of nowhere
Still dreaded the cold
When the well bled dry,
You were something to hold

When I was hurt and in pain,
You were hope in all of my days
He may be gone, but look what I have gained

Oh, I would never let that go

February, Part Two

Chapter Two: Hope in My Days

The months grew warm
With you, there by my side
Filling that void, the one he’d left inside

And I had you

The ink spilled on the page
No longer spelled grief
I was busy writing love songs
like you’d never leave

You came out of nowhere
Still dreaded the cold
When the well bled dry,
I had someone I could hold

February, Part Three

Chapter Three: Bracing for Cold

You disappeared slowly,
and then all at once

Watched you go, the way I watched him

Now the well’s bled dry,
I have no one to hold

All the hurt and the pain,
I’ve only grown cold

He may be gone,
but now so are you

I’ll never let that go
Oh, I could never let you go

Needy

The good morning texts,
the late-night messages to greet you when you wake.

Counting down the weeks,
the days, the hours.
Knowing your smile will greet me soon.

Needy lips against my own,
weeks of greed and love and longing behind each kiss.

The warmth of your body
reminding me I’m safe,
reminding me I’m home.

I’m needy.
Always needy for the comfort of you.

All My Thoughts

You’re my 4 am thoughts, alone in the silence of the night. You’re my 2 pm thoughts, a welcomed distraction in my work day when I’m aching to reach out and rest my hand on your thigh. You’re my 9 am thoughts, craving the warmth of you on all the cold lonely mornings. You’re my 8 pm thoughts, your head in my lap and my fingers through your hair. You’re my 11 pm thoughts, my fingertips aching for your skin to draw you impossibly closer.

Phantom

If I squeeze my eyes shut, I can pretend your body is right here beside me again. I can pretend your hand is inches from mine, waiting for me to take it. I can reach out and feel your warmth. But then I open my eyes. It’s cold. And I’m numb.

Which is Worse?

Jolting awake from the darkest of nightmares. Ones that petrify you and leave you with the taste of lead in your mouth. Or stirring from the warmth and goodness of a magical dream. One where you’ve come back to me. One where I can kiss you.

Either way, I can’t reach out and feel you. I can’t be settled. The unrest only lingers. And it all hurts just the same.