I can feel myself peeling off in strips, slowly, so slowly. Lay it on a mannequin like paper-mâché. This here? It will all be okay. That’s what we say.
Careful not to breathe in too deep, share the air. Our lungs only ever half-filled.
I watch my lives walking beside me, all the people I could have been but wasn’t. All the choices I didn’t make, the people I didn’t love, the places I didn’t go… or left too soon. It’s okay, it’s all okay, don’t make eye contact. I don’t know you.
His eyes are steel knives freshly sharpened and we are all thin-skinned. Look at all these veins struggling to surface.
The love was never enough. The wine never lasts. It’ll all be okay, that’s what we say.
He carried me on his back. Stone to stone. Laughing, boosting me up. I kissed the back of his neck and whispered, “Let’s stay this way.”
We stay up late at night reminiscing. The moments are over before they begin.
I love so hard I can’t look forward, only back.