I wish there were more songs
for the women who choose to
love themselves instead of
harboring broken hearts over
men who didn’t know love.
I wish there was more glamour
around the choice of a woman
to refuse the chains of commitment
in the name of developing her
own character and her own life.
I wish there was more praise
given to the women who want
to choose the embrace all the
different layers of love within the world
instead of pouring all their feeling into one.
I wish there was less pity in people’s eyes
when they saw a woman who decided
to live a life all her own, giving love in
all its forms to anyone she ever wanted
instead of emptying her soul to just one.
that insists things
than they seemed."
When you love someone, you need to prepare yourself to learn to tell them you don’t. Not to test them, not to break their hearts - but because sometimes love isn’t enough, and a lie is the only way to save them holding onto a past that the universe, world, or circumstances won’t let remain alive. Deep down, you know they would hate you, maybe not tomorrow, but years from now if you stuck around.
Perhaps it’s because I learned about love through Antigone’s thirst for justice, Ophelia’s sacrifice, or the politicized romance in Soljan’s Garden of Nightingales; but I have found love to live best, to be at it’s most honest when it is fleeting.
But when he looks at me like distance doesn’t matter, like time won’t erode at the mountains of feeling we have built over the course of our friendship, I almost believe he might be right.
No, I’m leaving. I’m leaving forever. He thinks it’s just six months, but I’m not coming back.
I think of the women I admire, I think of the love they left behind. I remember why the did it, to save themselves, to save the men who were making their lofty promises to those who knew better. I remember how they loved them for thinking it was true, for seeing in them something infinite in a dead-end world.
What if they had stayed? What if they had made the choice to give into a love whose flame can only weaken with the days?
I think maybe he is different. I try to tell myself that maybe I am different. I try to list the ways I’ve changed. I think of those who’ve disappointed me and I recall how he would never make the choices that led to so much heartbreak. I see that the way he is different, the way I have changed is exactly why I must let him go.
We are both living too much on the edge of life. I am building the layers of my character, I am writing poetry on book margins and opening the other doors of my heart to worlds I haven’t discovered yet. He is beginning to build his base for the future he has always planned, making choices about where to work and in what to invest. He is trying to become the man he wants to be and he can’t see that if I’m around, it will be harder for him to succeed.
I need to tell him that I don’t love him, because I gave so much of my love to another and I made the choice to love myself for a while. I need to tell him that I don’t love him, because I’m leaving and he is staying and our lives already decided we can’t be together. I need to tell him I don’t love him, even if it isn’t true - so that every day he can cement another brick onto the wall he builds between us, where he is safe and I am forgotten.
I need to tell him that I don’t love him, because I know the world more than he does. I see it in the way he looks at me that he has so much hope, and maybe if we were both equally naive we would survive. But I know too much, and I would rather his love die out than have him hating me for making it last.
The first of my graduate schools contacted me… And I got accepted the the University of Denver’s school of international studies to pursue a masters in international security!
The first time around
the songs were crisp and clean,
I would sing them in the shower
and relate the lyrics to my
everyday walks to work and
trips on the subway.
But like a stick of gum thats
been chewed on for too long,
every word began to sound bitter
and empty the more I sang them
or saw them marked on
the sidewalks that guide my routines.
And I’ve lost all control.
The music plays without a request
and I know now that the end isn’t
as hopeful as I believed it to be
when I began.
I always know what’s coming -
and it terrifies me I can’t change it.
The world looks different when it’s reflected on my gold painted jacket button. The bars overhead that make up my bus stop bench station curve to make beautiful mountains. The branches from the tree above, when flipped in the reflection become large trees that reach to the top of a golden sky. It’s a beautiful sky, painted a blue-yellow that makes it seem lit by a dying sun. I want to climb the trees to reach it, to get close enough to a sun that’s as experienced as it is exhausted, a sun that knows how to comfort without burning.
That if I stepped back from the earth
And fell deep enough into the universe,
Powerful telescope in hand,
I could catch the past mid-flight,
See dinosaurs roam the land
Which became my backyard years
And years after fire made them ash.
I’ve found the concept enchanting,
Seductive, and addicting.
To think that the universe as it expands
Allows time to travel and nothing to ever die."