Your words make no sense to me anymore. Those intrepid strokes on a silly and impressionable heart are now laughable. They are nothing but ethereal dust marks on an old highway of my memory.
You scrambled my insides and casually walked away while I gasped and stared at my reflection in the mirror, trying to recognize myself, trying to catch my breath. I’ve checked the mirror for weeks now and continue to gaze back as a stranger. It’s unkind to leave me this way; nothing of myself but bits of a moment I was part of for a while.
So consider this my first confession. I've found you.
But I've been unkind. Careless. I've stood under eaves of unfamiliar houses listening to the low music inside, desperately wanting to go in. I have woken up with strangers, but none stranger than myself. I have spoken in tongues and crawled in the mud. I've wrestled with my own conscience and purposefully let it win. I refuse to see things in black and white. I've dared, kissed, pushed the limits, crushed a cigarette into the ground and left with him. I've been begged, pleaded and sold. I've given up on you, lost you, found you, lost you and then watched you walk into the room and disappear into the light of atoms. I've seen through you so many times its embarrassing. I've smashed berries on my lips and pretended I was a May Queen. You've been my lover in my dreams, meeting me under purpled rain clouds and in dark corners of blues clubs. I have satiated lusts with one hushed word whispered with heat on my neck. I've returned gazes and rejected my closeted fears. I've pick pocketed emotions and stolen tears from you in giant sacks. I have a criminal record two days long. I've suffered your politics with a cracked, feigned smile and have seen you sway back and forth, like a tire swing crossing a line in the sand. I haven't always been honest. I've held back tomes of sentences meant for you, pushed them from my lips down into my toes until they twitched and yearned and forced me to run. I painted the walls of my heart in a glossy black after you left for the first time. Added a new coat each time you left after that. And though the paint is starting to chip again, I am too tired to touch it up.
Forgive me father for I have sinned. It's been sixteen months, nine days, and twelve hours since my last confession.
I confess. I’ve lost you.
I've shrunken your memory down to a dime-sized dollop--an agreeable spoonful so it's easier to swallow. Lately I've been wandering around my apartment thinking "these spaces used to be cozier", only it's not that the spaces have grown bigger, it's just that there is one less ghost haunting its halls. I have so many regrets that I've started collecting the inked up scraps of paper that litter my bedroom, bathroom, purse, car, and have laid them to rest in a shiny pink jar atop my writing desk. Yesterday, my regrets pulled me out of the shower to scribble another thought. Dripping wet I scurried from my bathroom to my bedroom to file it away. By the time I returned, I'd thought of another. There will always be dusky plumes of old desire. At quiet moments in my day I whisper kind words into the air to make others more forgiving of you. Of me. Of the fall of us. I've stolen memories from you, rationing them like scraps of food that will never satiate. I stash them in my closet along with bent photos and ticket stubs from a dusty, criminal past. I've spent the last three weeks with my headphones on, shouting out foreign phrases and sounds, trying to teach myself the language of courage. Only, it comes out in broken words and no one can understand me. Your memory flashes in my mind simultaneously with the beat of my heart. I've spent hours at my kitchen table doing breathing exercises to slow its pace. Now I only think of you sixty-five times per minute. I find myself staring down at my palms, splotched with that familiar, fresh black paint I’ve spent all afternoon trying to rub off. I am considering sending you my language tapes. Perhaps they'll do you some good where I have failed.
And although I confess all of this to you now, I know for sure you won't hear it.