before the sun crawled through the window,
magnified perfectly on stained glass.
No fear and no warning.
We were always better at night or at the very least we used to be.
I wanted to remind you that we are both showing signs of age,
under the eyes and around the mouth.
Me more than you though I try to be good to myself,
it’s much harder without your shadow to remind me.
When night falls into my lap and becomes a monster
who shares eyes with you,
I have to make sure to catch every breath you ever took in my own hands.
I wanted to tell you about my plan to paint my memory in purples and reds
so that I wouldn’t ever forget the field,
the dew collecting itself into neat mouthfuls,
cooper climbing up the bridge of the smallest, purest parts of my skin.
But I have a gapping fear of losing things.
Maybe this is the aftermath.
The only possible explanation to you loving less and taking more.
The way I do the numbers in my head,
matching values to the scenes of you that keep things from coming apart.
My eyes watching the seams twist and shed
The same way that a slight change in the pace of the wind
invites the sky shift.
The rising and falling of branches
a chest or a heartbeat.
That’s the only place you leave me.
With gaping holes in my tongue.
A strong, flat stone placed right against the soft part of my throat.
Heavy enough that I can feel my weaker lung collapse.
Now, the only time I don’t think of you is when I am in full motion.
I have been teaching myself how to breathe again,
The real reason I am turning around and running.
I am slowly taking inventory of myself.
A staged bone,
A limp limb,
An upturned palm,
cloth eyes focused on prayer,
when I am thinking of something better to say than your name.
There was so much more to tell you.
I am only making myself forget it now.
Josie Griffith is a poet, writer and designer. She graduated with a degree in English and Creative writing from Northern Arizona University. She frequently writes for sites like Unwritten and The Thought Catalogue. She has been published in collections from Z Publishing House and NAUs literary magazine The Tunnels. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.