March 5, 2016

Missing Him. {Poem}

Benjamin Combs/Unsplash

My tears reach out to him, my heartbeat sings his name, my lips long for his soft touch, but his side of the bed is empty, ice cold.

He isn’t there.

My fingers yearn to weave through his, to feel the rough callouses of his well-worn palms in mine, as he wraps me up in a warm embrace that tells me, in exactly no words, that everything is okay.

But he isn’t there.

It’s just me, cuddling with his ghost, flipping through the torn scrapbook pages of our shared memories under the golden glow of candlelight.

Tears replace his presence; longing is my new hobby. Grief seems like it could swallow me in an instant.

The memories, they flash, flash, flash through my mind—tender as falling snowflakes, intense as twirling tornadoes. Memories so sweet they seem as precious as gold; memories so cherished they leave me shaky.

Tonight, there is only missing him.

For a small second, before drifting off to sleep, before entering the tender branches of my dreams, I swear I can feel his hot breath on my cheek.

I swear I can feel him next to me.

But he isn’t there.

His pillow lies perfectly plump, unused, a whole bed to myself,

Disappointment crashes through me, cold as ice; it’s just me, here, alone.

But between the tears, between heartbeats, between inhales and exhales—

There is wisdom, tender as sweet antique lace infused in this pain.

Because this love, this beautiful love we shared,

It was grand and life-changing; it was romantic and sweet,

It was the love I wanted, but it was not the love I needed.

We fit together, almost, but not quite,

Two eager heart-pieces trying so hard to complete the maddening puzzle, trying so hard to make it work.

We stretched ourselves so thin that we both became hollow caricatures of ourselves.

Our love, it failed.

But a broken love always deserves to be delicately honored—to be properly grieved.

So tonight, I don’t hide from the hollow parade of stinging tears.

Tonight, I let grief inside my heart.

Tonight, there is only missing him. Missing him at sunset, with an ache in my chest that drives a black hole through my entire being.

There is only missing him as light slips down the horizon, one inky second at a time; missing him as darkness takes its place at twilight.

There is only missing him.

I breathe in the pain; tears surround me like a gossamer net.

My mind is unable to focus, my heart, unable to rest.

But it’s okay.

As I sit still, as the stars reveal themselves, one by one, from behind the clouds in a striptease of sparkling madness, I breathe.

I breathe between the tears, I pause between my heartbeats.

And I see that

I loved him more than I loved myself, that

I forgot to love myself while I loved him,

And that—

That was the problem.


Author: Sarah Harvey

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Benjamin Combs/Unsplash


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