practically unsinkable

there are no lighthouses this far out to sea.

i chased you across seven oceans for seven years.  i never caught you, not even for a moment.

there are things i have always wanted you to know.  things that get swept away by the tide.  they get buried below rocks, lost in the current, distilled into treasure for the brave of heart.

i want to tell you that i never stopped loving you, even through the nights you never came home.  the porch light always flickered feebly, a dim beacon to guide your return.  you slammed the screen door and drove so fast you left an imprint in the driveway, but i stayed up and waited through every night.  my face cast glowing blue by the television screen, vision blurring, chest caving.  you came home smelling like him, filling the spaces in my arms with the smoky strangeness of bars and betrayal.  i want to tell you that i screamed inside through every second i held you.  but i never once pulled away.

i want to tell you that i never stopped thinking about you.  i fell apart spectacularly that first year.  i cried, i drank, i smashed windows with my fists and tried to bring the world crashing down around my body.  i smoked endlessly to forget your lips, cigarette after cigarette clamped hard in my mouth while my mind raced in circles for hours on end.  my hands shook every minute; my signature on the divorce papers smeared haphazardly across the page.  i tried to fill them with other women to keep them steady, but none of them ever lasted.  because none of them were you.  even now, years later, i feel your phantom fingers entwined with mine.  they trace promises and lies across my palms.  they spell out "you'll never forget me."

i want to tell you that this is the last letter i will ever write you.  they pile up in my study, pages and pages of unsent love and hurt and desire.  they fill the corners of my room and the spaces in my mind.  i have spent all my life reading about great and ruinous lovers, the stories of lancelot and guinevere, the stories that remind me of your back pushed against the sink mirror and my hips pressing into your legs.  the television screen flickering test patterns of the lust factor, your anemic kiss tugging at my lower lip.  the stories of us through the ages, crude replicas of our love with smoke and mirrors flattery.  you died last month when i finally forgave you for leaving me.  and then you left me all over again.  your house is empty, repackaged and resold, and there is no one to mail these letters to anymore.  and so i sit here, shipwrecked, the sole survivor.  smashed up against our memories and scattered out to sea.  until i stop writing about you.

until i stop writing about you.

until i stop writing about you.