I loved you once, in the autumn when you took the form of a solid bar of gold, then when you dulled to a wrong bronze in the winter; when you crumbled to missed chances in the spring and when you were new as a winged possibility in the summer. They say that spring is the time of new beginnings, but you were the time of new endings then, collapsing in on yourself as I bloomed, and then wilted.
Missing you is something I do frequently, when I compare you to the eighth of love I feel now, the diminished thought of a memory. I miss your beauty, the way my heart would skip and jolt, happiness lancing through my veins one second and then the presence of you, calming. “I love you,” you said, too many times, but was that you, Love? Perhaps you only descended once, twice, in the wreck of infatuation and the splinters of half-love that could not quite coalesce into you.
I feel sorry for you, for all the ways you could have been formed, but where you were never quite able to be seen. In a way I resent you for it, all of the running up of hills only to fall back, never cresting the peak. Where were you then, at my failings – though how can I blame you? You are love, nothing more. You filled me with temporary whimsicality, your antibodies still present to prevent the intrusion of your next attack, but never quite working. Should I thank you, I wonder?
You were secret, once, stolen away in droplets of tears, never said nor heard. You were a thread of happiness, tangled, until I could not distinguish you from the echo of a song you left. Where have you gone? Because you flew away, another golden feather clutched in your hands.
Your emotion is something I could never forget. In the quiet nights, the shining days, tampered down with the rationality of paranoia and swellings of affection for friends, family and strangers on the street. Still, you consumed me, opening rivers of thought I never knew I had.
I still love you, I suppose, but I ask myself which version? The version of you that held me with quiet certainty, or that was so soft and new I could barely breathe, or perhaps the you that glowed with your own familiar light until it moved, beaming to another star. Maybe all of you is still there, curled in my heart, a dormant dragon waiting to rise. Would I still love you, then, in the dulled sense I do now, or would the flames and silver scales heal the cracks? You neither know, nor care – do you, Love? You are just a person, or an idea, or a blend of both rolled into spun silk, ripped.
When you come back, don’t break my heart as you did before. Don’t be warped, twisted, turning my heart into a receptor for expectant pain; on my toes until the catch comes, just waiting to be proved wrong and for you to vanish into shadows. Don’t make false promises, that you’ll always be there; never say you can hold me forever. Don’t do the things that burn me, and I’m begging you, don’t show me you exist until I’m sure I have the strength to match you.
I can’t do it otherwise.
From Elm 🙂