To the person I was, the person I am, and the person I someday hope to be.
To the person I carved out of my skin
Out of my head to give it more room
For the person I almost see in the mirror
The one I can’t quite yet hear in my voice.
To the boy who sleeps no matter how I shake his shoulders
To the girl who lies beside him, faded pale as ice and drawing breaths
Ever shallower through chest
Folded into hard angles on the cradle of softness
The swells of tiny mountains too fragile to climb.
To the girl who robbed a boy of his childhood
And in turn gave a man the future she will never have.
To the only person I have ever consciously, deliberately tried to kill.
I never meant to hurt you.
I never meant to make my body an unsafe place for you.
I always looked at your reflection like a mess of scattered puzzle pieces
Searched for corners and edges to fix the disorder
But I never meant to fix you
So I ended up taking you apart.
And I’m sorry if lately I’ve only looked at you like a problem
I’m sorry if lately, I’ve only tried to drown out your name
With a new one I don’t even say to myself in secret anymore.
I’m sorry if lately the ultimate goal has become seeing you disappear
But I won’t apologize for searching in your cavities
For the missing pieces of myself
The pieces of you I can save
Because I have one last chance to be the child
I couldn’t be because of you
And I think we both know I can’t live as long as you do
So I’m sorry, I am, but it has to be this way
This has to be goodbye, for both of our sakes.
For years, I’ve been building myself up from your ground zero
Your brittle concrete foundation
Sunk so far into the earth it’s become almost impossible to see.
For years, I’ve been rising from the powdered ashes
Of the certainty you found in the fact that you were alive
And nothing else.
Your building has already been demolished.
Or perhaps, it was never built
Because you had blueprints for something new, something different
Plans you had rolled up for another day
I am everything you’ve been waiting for.
And I’ve been standing on the scaffolding of both of our futures
Laying down beams even as the structure shudders and sways
I’ve been crossing the bridge while it’s still under construction
And yes, it’s unstable, it’s risky
But I wish you could see the view from up here.
I wish you could see how strong I’ve become.
When your bones turned to crumbling sand
I blew spindles of molten glass from the grains
And hardly waited for the inferno to cool
Before stepping into my fragile new skeleton.
There is something real, and bright, and wild
In the melting burn of your passing
And when the smoke of your dying breath leaves my throat
Like the hushed, broken hiss of a closing curtain
The embers on my tongue will ignite inspiration
And when my first inhale crests my crackling newborn lungs
I will breathe fire, and power
And every vibrant, trembling, desperately alive everything
That you never were, and never will be.
I do not mourn you.
I do not mourn you, because no one writes eulogies
For those who have never lived.
No one writes for ghosts, or stillbirths, or automatons.
And though I have survived you
Though I continue to survive you
Though I continue to draw breaths ever shallower
Through folded chest and imprisoned lungs
They are strong and fierce and full of
More life and love and raw, precious air
Than you could ever have held.
This poem is not and will not be
A eulogy for either of us
Because I am still standing
And I am everything that you ever stood for.