Quiet Moments

I don’t really get quiet moments.

Between noisy conversations in overcrowded hallways

And my own intrusive thoughts,

Silence has ceased to exist in my life.

Even while I’m stuck on this god-forsaken island

That’s as empty and barren as my heart,

There are still thoughts in my mind

That are demanding to be heard;

Memories that refuse to be suppressed

Or pushed to the back of my mind any longer.

My mind wanders to the day I met her.

I think about seeing her in the hallway,

Lucy, with her high cheekbones,

And her chocolate brown eyes

Glistening in the pale sunlight.

As I lie alone in the sand, closing my eyes,

I feel myself bump into her,

I hear the word, ‘Sorry,’ escaped my lips.

I see her flash this gorgeous, radiant smile

And I feel the beauty of it hit my senses like fireworks.

I open my eyes.

I see nothing but the extended branches of the trees above me.


Lucy liked trees.

I close my eyes.

I see her climbing the tree

We planted in our front yard at home,

Her laugh splashing out of her

Like bright paint hitting a dull, white wall.

I open my eyes. Sit up.

Look around. Alone.

I go for a walk.

I feel the fresh air on my face

And my mind flashes images

Of all the walks I’d taken with Lucy.

I think about the contaminated, smog-filled Bakersfield air

Poisoning my lungs as quickly as the toxicity

Of our relationship filled every fiber of my being.

I begin to hear voices –our voices­—in my head.

I hear all of the arguments over nothing.

The sound of her raspy voice screaming

That she hates me occupies the empty auditorium of my head.

I’m walking along the beach, everything looks the same.

I feel myself choking on my tears

As I see my pathetic attempts to get her to stay.

The image of me following her as she storms out of our house

Is projected from my mind and I drop to my knees,

Reaching out for a girl that isn’t there.

The wind picks up and all of my mistakes

Swarm around me like an angry dust storm,

Knocking me down each time I make the pitiful attempt to get back up.

I stumble over my own feet like I stumbled over the words

“I love you, please don’t do this.”

Words thrash around in my mind as Lucy continues to yell,

Bellowing for me to leave her alone,

Shrieking that she doesn’t love me,

That everything between us was a mistake.

I come across the wreckage of the boat that left me here,

As broken on the outside as I am on the inside.

The tide is building, ebbing and flowing,

Taking my only hope of getting home out to see,

The image of Lucy’s back as she walks out the door

Fading in my mind, the sound of my tears

And the door slamming quieting

As I stand and watch the boat drift further and further away

Until it’s out of sight.

Alone. I’m alone on an abandoned island.

What do I need?

Nothing. I need nothing.

I need silence here.

I need a quiet moment.

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