Steps

by Gelsey

Sometimes I retrace my steps
I reread old letters
We shared together
It’s fantastic to say that I miss you tremendously
Yet not at all
We have separate lives
With different people
Different storylines
You
Are no longer the oxygen I breathe
I don’t think of you when I wake up or when I brush my teeth
I don’t exercise for you
I don’t do my makeup or brush my hair,
Hoping I will run into your beautiful face
I retrace my steps
But I do not get stuck on an old text
I try not to overanalyze every mistake I made
Because negativity drives me insane,
And I’ve gone crazy for too long.
The strings have been cut.
My fingers touch the thread,
Praying it will connect again
But hoping it won’t.
Hoping I’ll be strong enough to fully let you go
Because there are scars on my paper skin
That scream your name when I look into a mirror.
I didn’t mean for this to happen—
To fall so hard that my bruises develop bruises
And my blood vessels become fleets of ship sailing through my system.
My skin will turn into steel
Reflecting the amount of armor I must wear to protect myself from remembering you.
I will retrace my steps but I won’t follow yours.
Instead,
I will remember the rise and fall of your chest when you slept.
The peace after hardship.
I’ll cling onto you
Until I forget how to hold on.
Then,
I’ll lose everything.
And gain relief.

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