what haunted me

You're better off in the clouds as we fade
Barely leaving a semblance of
What we thought it meant to grow up
When things don't get better
No, things don't get better, just different

I pondered the idea of running away from what haunted me, starting new and ending the story I was holding onto. I pondered this idea, passed it back and forth between my fingers that use to interlace with yours. What was once soft hardened and dried out enough to form cracks in my skin, tearing into my bones until they’ve reached the one thing I’ve been able to hold onto: My hope. For what? You and everything I gave have come, been taken and gone, but my hope was the one thing that kept me from letting go. This hope held meaning for what it could possibly bring, unlike the cadence of words said to comfort me with lies that I’m better off. I long grew tired of being told I’m better off without the one thing that was a constant in my life. Some said it was wrong, that I needed to quit floating amidst the deep end before I drown. I never did learn how to swim either. I had a perpetual feeling crawling deep beneath my skin signaling me to not let go, that this path laid out for me was etched in stone. It was a feeling that nestled itself deep into my bones. Grasping onto this hope made me succumb to a vessel that I called home. It wasn’t always this way, and there weren’t always holes in the walls where you swore holes would never be. There was a time when we turned what was just a house into a home. Our home. And memories hung from every free inch of the walls; painted landscapes stretched down every hall, showing us that life roams freely and the love within it lives endlessly. But just like a painting that goes unfinished, we were torn down from high ceilings and walls to half-painted canvases waiting for their next fall. Your disillusion dismantled what we naturally built to last. You cut strings without a warning sign. Waited until the last flicker of the light, and never bothered to fix it. And yet I still searched for a way to recreate my home, to draw anything on these half-finished canvases and turn them into something worthy of hanging up again. Because no matter how many paintings I shifted or walls I painted, I found myself often looking back to what we had, just to hold onto a sliver of anything that brings me comfort and color, or at least won’t bring me more pain. But that pain lingered deep beneath my skin, finding its way into any crack and crevice of my bones. I use to wish I had the guts to face what haunted me, but I no longer find myself drawn to the type of fear that I know is bound to let me go.

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