By Alison Malee
I lost myself waiting for you to love me. The sadness hidden in that died a long time ago, but writing it down feels more final. I was watching myself through smoke and mirrors, seeing the way I was wasting away but unashamed, unaware that some of that breakage would be irreparable.
There is no blame. Not anymore. I know you cannot make someone love you. You cannot make their eyes stop roaming, make their hearts stay in place, make them leap for you if they have not chosen to leap.
And yet, there I was, cracking piece by piece. Handing them to you with open palms and question marks. That is why I could not wait anymore.
Truthfully, there were pieces of my life I had to let go of. Memories that didn’t speak the truth anymore. Months that seemed to only smell of your cologne. Years that rang with your name or your voice or your ever roaming fingers.
I found myself replaying messages, replaying scenes in my head that were better left in storage. And I realized, I had to leave the whole of us alone. Some memories are better left untouched. Some memories are better left in a past that can honor them in a way I am not able to anymore.
Above everything else, I realized there had to be someone out there who would not make me ache with uncertainty the way you did. You did not ever need me in the way I needed you. You were always giving me a taste of love, a taste of what it could feel like, and then pushing back, pushing away, pushing forward without me.
I was not, am not, the woman you needed.
And that is, after all this time and all this ache, finally ok. It doesn’t make my chest tight the way it used to. I know now that you were not, are not, the man I needed. That’s the beauty in letting go.
As soon as my hands stopped reaching for you, I began reaching for myself. Even with my hands shaking, I started to put back the parts of myself that had been wiped clean. Rearranging the fragments that had toppled over or been forgotten.
Maybe I will never regain what I lost in the years I lost to you. Maybe I am more whole on my own, now, with all this scar tissue, than I ever could have been.
I was losing myself in love, waiting for you to love me. But empty promises and empty words could not keep me warm, not as well as a life fully lived. Not as well as a heart fully loved.
Alison Malee is an accomplished poet, author, and actress. Her work has been featured in Poetic Power, The Sun Gazette, The American Library of Poetry, Art Refurbish, World Poetry Movement, Thought Catalog, and YourTango. Alison is a spoken word poet, who has performed at various venues around New York City. She also teaches various classes regarding poetry and creative writing.
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