Each intake of air, a challenge. Fighting against my body to keep breathing, to moderate that steady rhythm, when all it wants to do is fall apart.
In, out. In, out. In…
But I miss you. Every inch of me rejects the absence of you from my life. There’s a hole where you once were; something vital is missing, and without it I have no sense of cadence.
When you left you threw my world into disarray. Everything I knew to be true suddenly wasn’t. What had once been acknowledged truths – I could wrap my arms around you for comfort, and help myself to anything from your closet; the extra toothbrush in your medicine cabinet was mine, and my Saturday nights belonged to you – became jumbled uncertainties.
Blind, disoriented. You rewrote my native language, and now I am illiterate, left to feel around for meaning in crippling darkness.
Life after you doesn’t make sense. Like hail in Los Angeles, or earthquakes in Chicago, everything seems off-kilter. You should be here holding me right now but you’re not, and I don’t know how to change that, because the five miles of freeway between us are suddenly as insurmountable as the Great Wall of China. We circle around each other in different social spheres, never intersecting, whether by choice or by fate. I need to redraw the boundaries of my personal space to exclude you, but I just can’t seem to pin you down long enough to force you out.
The ghosts of you remain, though. I still wake up every weekend morning expecting to curl into that space under your arm and press into the warmth of your back. When I flex my fingers I swear I can feel yours squeeze back. And when I walk the sidewalks and trails we walked together, the echoes of your laughter often drift by on a breeze, caressing my cheek before fading away, just like you did.
Illusions die without warning, and it never takes long for me to realise you’re not there.
Alone. Adrift. Asphyxiating. I can’t breathe without you.
In (love), out (of sync).