March 9, 2012

the other half



I had spent the week prodding, reminding myself to forget. To stay busy and for Christ's sake, to hold my tongue. For months, you had been holding it for me. Your hands are still on my neck.
I'm getting better at forgetting the way you said I am. They weigh less than your beliefs, scored over and over again with dull memories.

Those lessons are never learned. They hover, pecking at crumbs of morality. Now if only I can remember why I chucked them in the first place. They leave no trail back to you or anyone else I've witheld confession from, just a buffet of the things I use to believe.

I see ghosts in cafes, hunched over graph-checked notebooks, their chambray-laden backs taunting mountains. I'm gutted. I would flip the table from underneath you in one second if I believed you would appreciate it. But it isn't you. It never is. It isn't funny when it isn't you.

You are found, rather your sepia-drenched attitude that I could never look straight in the eye is, when I criss-cross the pharmacy aisles. It carries a case of Keystone Light to the counter and glints at me, later writing on some Missed Connection, "Should of said hello."

"You should have," I reply, half in correction, and in half-staff earnest. I never check those anymore, but I had an instinct. The instinct for the cross-over, when reality becomes virtual reality.

We must be good to be bad. Because one cannot exist without the other, but mostly because I can't stand to be good to you any longer. Forgiveness isn't measured in flesh. It carries its own weight around your neck. It is non-transferrable.

I would urge your distance, but things are duller when you aren't around. To torment, to confess, possess, and altogether to forgive each other the burdens of half-heartedness. Not that I'd even know what to do with the other half, had I it.



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