p.215

you rested your bodies,
your skin to the floor,
itchy carpet, and only his
arm covering the little
of you that it could.
he held you close,
not for lust or
for selfish needs;
but because he knew
the void you felt that night.
sixteen.
and house parties,
burned out cigarettes,
empty vodka bottles,
and the voices of drunken laughter
wasn’t enough.
the amount of space
you had between loved and alone,
compare it to bare feet walking
on burning coal.

pack suitcases,.
flannels and ripped jeans,
Ti’s with splattered paint stains,
your empty sketchbooks and
the letters you have yet to write.
a home did not matter to you.
finding yourself through the
people
who said their goodbye’s
faster than they said their hello’s
was something familiar to you.
nineteen.
and you’re leaving,
this time it’s you that you leave
behind,
the touched and used,
the too high to reach expectations
of those who say they
“love” you,
the already failed relationships—
pushed rewind and attempted
again and again only to set
you up
for more devastation.
this time,
you remain at the edge of your
seat,
a third of your 8am coffee is
left cold in your mug,
your curly hair is tucked
behind your ear, and you
look into the mirror; it’s a long
time coming,
“goodbye.”

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