Heart for Lease

I stand knee-deep in a pile of rocks,
tethered to them by a hope you’d one day come back.
I’ve done this before – waiting months, sometimes years,
standing alone – cold – face streaked with dried, parched riverbeds of tears from a well long dry.
My knees ache from all the standing. From all the waiting.
You never came back. but neither did she. nor did anyone else.
Still I look down at what’s piled beneath me –
calloused stones that broke my bones, hurled by your words that hurt me.
Those mouthfuls of forevers that danced in my heart, bounced in my soul, and created for itself a home you never intended to own, but only wanted to lease until you found one with cheaper rent, a better bed, and way less commitment.
So I always hope that you’d come back to our empty nest, but really –
what I’ve always hoped was to just hurl it all back.
Those temporary truths – those I love you’s thrown around with no end date – at least not one that you told me – it tastes so foul now. Revenge is sweeter than the bitterness you tasted on my lips, than the snake oil I’ve grown accustomed to ingesting.
It’s left me cold.
I am just so tired.
And you never came.
Maybe you knew it wasn’t safe.
After all, I haven’t moved. I’m right where you left me. You left me.
A dented, cratered carapace of a man with hollowed insides who dares not to take the steps toward healing because the sound of my feet striking the ground to move on echoes of the time when you did the same –
I still hear the reverb of those steps that thunders within my own emptiness.
But – please know: I am thankful.
That you are far from my bitterness masquerading as hope, chained by misery, once ours, that was so good to feel.
That you are far from those promises that were pressed together like those petals I placed in your journal.
You said I was your best; and your choices have taken it back.
now I wish YOU the best, and you can keep that with you too.
And slowly, as I de-badge these stones that had your nametag, tearing down the forts I’ve made in this playground of rocks and kidney stone words, I’ve found the absurdity of building up walls in a place where no one will ever come. And my hope came when I finally stopped asking for YOU to come. That is the miracle.
So I will choose your forgiveness because I can’t yet choose mine.
I will choose your path you took, not to follow you where you are, but because I know where you went was toward a life you’re only allowed to have when your hands have nothing in them.
Perhaps maybe that’s why you threw what you had at me.
If so, I am so sorry you had to wound me for your healing to begin
But thank you – so much – for wounding me, so MY healing could begin.


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