This street is not how I remember it. The leaves are darker and the pavement has more scars. I imagine that you would look similar. Time has left his footprints here. He came when you and I left.
The FOR SALE sign makes my heart stutter. It was as inevitable as the storm was promised by the sky; it feels like a knife in my back.
We once owned this street: every tree, every slab of concrete, every lamppost was ours. We even owned the moon that shined down on us like a spotlight on the nights when you would wrap me in your arms and I would wrap you in my words. And now, I don’t even recognise this darker sky.
There were the tender days: the days we protected like we planned to love our children. The days of homemade cooking, of sewing up our bruises, and the sounds of Time standing still.
Fate had always hated me: always making me miss my bus, catch every red light, and have to walk home in a storm. I thought Fate had stopped playing these schoolyard games and had finally grown up. But that FOR SALE sign was just a knife that Fate had handed to me on a silver platter. He’d dug it into my back so quickly, like a doctor giving a child an inoculation, that I hadn’t felt the pain until now. And maybe Fate wanted us to be together. And maybe Fate changed his mind on us. And maybe Fate will always be an indecisive bastard.
But now, this street leads me up to the door that used to belong to you. But I know that if I knocked, nobody would answer me. But now, the street is up for anyone’s taking. And I will walk away.
I tried to find my heart. I put LOST posters on lampposts, I handed out flyers in town, I even reported my missing muscle to the police. But I knew that this missing muscle investigation would be down to me.
I searched for fingerprints. And I found some all over my bed: the last place I’d seen my heart. The fingerprints spelt out your name.
And I mean, of course you were the culprit. I don’t hand my heart over to just anyone, you know. What kind of woman do you take me for? I just didn’t think you were the kind of man who would take it without permission.
In its place, I found a shoebox; laden with water damage and heavy with graffiti. It was evidently overused by an aggressive driver. It was obvious that it had been in accidents, was damaged beyond repair, and would never be insured again.
Inside of that shoebox, I found bruises and scars. They were made by other people but they were unmistakably yours.
You’d taken my barely used heart, that wasn’t even broken in properly, and exchanged it for a muscle that was so overworked and damaged that it didn’t even look like a heart anymore. Is this what will happen to me?
I tried to put you back together. I tried to use the pieces of my broken heart to fix yours. But we are evidently not from the same jigsaw.
I tried to sew you back together but I’m not a seamstress. I wanted to paint between the cracks but I’m not an artist. I stayed up all night, trying to mould you a new heart out of clay, but I knew it wouldn’t match your eyes.
You once said that weeds multiply faster than a calculator, faster than the nine year old genius that lives down the street, faster than you can write a poem. You allow one to come into town and there’ll be one in your back garden within a week.
One day later, here I am. You thought it would take longer for me to get here. But I sit down on your back porch and tangle myself around your rose of a son. I don’t choke him, but I give him the air that a weed like me doesn’t need.
I don’t have a designer name like you do but my clothes are embroidered with stories. I don’t have money like you do but I will spend every smile I have on your son like the pennies I’d give him if I had any.
I look over at your son as he soaks up all the sunlight he can. I know I give him more life than a weed should give a rose. But when he looks at me, I know he won’t let a drop of weed killer land on my skin.
You always drink responsibly: always in moderation and never with car keys in your pocket. And you make me happy. But you don’t love responsibly: you always feel too much and love while working and love while drinking coffee and love while walking the dog.
But I’m not much better. I’m always hell-bent on loving and driving, always spilling my coffee and running red lights. And if I was stopped by a cop, I would fail a love breathalyser test.
Maybe neither of us love responsibly. But we’re much to intoxicated to care.