Ciara Lynch

 

When stars misalign. I like to stare at the sky in the nighttime. Lights in the neighborhood, my eyes adjust and the stars don’t seem as bright anymore. 

 

Home had never been with you, as much as I wanted it to. I tried and I tried and I try but the cycle continues. I wonder how I'll get out. And sometimes I wonder if I want to at all. 

 

Floaties and board games. Heartbreak shouldn’t start this early. Cleared leaves and wood left untouched… left to rot. Empty promises had not seemed to hurt much before then. Words fell like glass, shattering, never to be whole again, and never to be fulfilled. You’re not welcome. The only words I know were true. Like the shards of shattered glass, it drew blood and you had a bandaid. I bled out.

 

Tears had always been quicker for me. Sometimes, when I’m filled with happiness, I look over to where you should be to find the spot empty. I wipe my own cheeks and pour alcohol on the wound. Validation from others I never got from you, each one leaving a stitch. It’s close to healing now. 

 

But I remember the dollar store chocolates. Hope in small packaging, easily digestible until it’s not. The tag is still on. Careless, maybe. Definitely. Thoughtless presents like drugstore bandaids on open wounds. Unsaid words like salt. 

 

Strip mall sushi was the kiss to make it feel better… seemed fitting. Looking out the window to keep from crying. No vacancy signs behind your eyes I’ve been avoiding all night. I know I’m not reaching you, I’m met with locked doors and empty hallways, guest rooms. Oh how badly I wanted to be let in then. Give me the keys now and I’ll swallow them whole. I won’t be needing them anymore.

 

Calls get shorter. Brick by brick I shut you out and notice you’re the one laying the cement. We lock eyes and I wished we hadn’t. I pause, brick in hand, doubting my choices. Maybe this time will be different, and the cycle continues. I set the brick down.

 

I don’t even know your favorite color anymore. Come to think of it, it might still be blue. You never change. 

 

I can never make you love me the way I need you to. I’d like to think I’ve come to terms with this now.

 

If I squint hard enough, the lights blur and the stars seem to align. 

 

I think I’ll look away now.

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