You told me in the letter you wrote me that you associate me with vanilla.

I wonder if you hear my voice every time you make cookies or smell sweets in the air?

I always thought of myself as someone you couldn't appreciate. I didn't know you loved me as much as you loved baking.

But now I buy vanilla perfume from small shops and hunt down vanilla lotions.

I want to be the person you imagine I am. I want to be someone you're proud of.

I’ll start with vanilla and I’ll write you back some day.

The city looks so good on his body, I feel all of the lights when he’s on me.

Cathartic. Incandescent. Electric.

He has 2am on his lips and I taste whiskey when we kiss.

I get drunk off of how much he means to me every night and struggle to sober up before the morning light.

It’s overbearing. It’s suffocating. It almost is too much.

But there’s not a lot I wouldn’t do just to feel his touch.

So I’ll wait for him downtown for him to finish making rounds

And when he texts “You up?” I’ll text back “Yeah, you down?”

I put my head where my feet should go

and just laid there quietly.

It took a little while to fall asleep

but then I did.

I don’t remember dreaming.

I suppose something danced in my head.

I was just happy to wake up to the quiet

when the sun came up.

Birds were chirping,

cars whizzed by.

But in my room with the door shut,

it was quiet.

Really quiet for the first time

in a long while.

I realized I wasn’t thinking.

Wasn’t on.

Wasn’t trying to figure out

what to do.

Trying to tell myself what not to think about.

That’s how I spend most days,

telling my brain

‘‘Don’t think that, it’s bad for us.’’

Not today.

No, today it was quiet.

I lay still, taking it all in…

And it was nice.

I hope that happens tomorrow, too.

Sometimes I wonder if you think about us at all and how we’re so damn disconnected

When we were once close enough to fall in things like coffee, road trips, movies, stories, magic.

In things like love.

And I wonder if I ever cross your mind, or if what we had was just us filling time.

And I wonder if you’d want to know me, the me I am today…

Or if you’re caught up on a different me, the one that got away.

Sometimes I find you in the dark, a land that exists only in my head.

A fantasy made up behind eyelids and underneath bedspreads.

The man I saw, the man I trusted, the man I thought I knew…

I’m not sure who he is, but he looks a lot like you.

This fall I fell through the cracks in the sidewalk and stayed there while the world closed damp and marshy above me.

The streets hummed low rhythms that lulled me to sleep and I kept my eyes closed for three months until they snapped open like a timer had been set off, my body’s reminder that all dreams must end.

Now I hold a toothpick to the ceiling and slowly excavate myself.

Even when all seems dark, I’ve learned you can still dig your way out.

I was just getting started but you were ready to end

and there were holes in us both that we just couldn’t mend

But I was so wrapped up in all the nice things you would say and the way you’d convince me everything was okay

But it wasn’t, was it? It was all a fascade.

You thought you could protect me but your thinking was flawed.

And I feel stupid for not know that you weren’t alright, so blinded by love that I began to lose sight.

I should have cared for you better, I should have put you first

And I know saying these things doesn’t make it better or worse.

But I can’t not care, not even now.

My voice is so quiet but my thoughts are so loud.

And there’s nights I want to reach out and see how you are because my friends said they saw you alone at the bar.

Instead I’ll say nothing, I’ll leave you alone. But I’ll leave the porch light on in case you want to come home.

If you don’t feel like yourself right now, it’s probably because you are not that person anymore. Sometimes you fall apart and when you go to put yourself back together again, you’ll find that there are missing pieces. Parts of you have been lost along the way but it’s important that you don’t go searching for them. You don’t need to backtrack in order to feel whole again. This is your opportunity to grow, your chance to bloom into the person you’ve always wanted to be. You might have lost parts of yourself along the way, but you will never be incomplete. You are enough all on your own. Keep going.

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