Be Careful

It’s tough to breathe, “be careful” when I don’t have any evidence of my breaks. No picture frames, no midway goldfish, no dorky handmade birthday cards. I have memories, maybe three group photos, and one poem to show for my heart’s wretched state. And no one is going to see that poem.

I blame 17-year-old me. See, she fell into a love that I cannot recover from, no matter what or who I use in my attempts to free myself. She was so uncertain about what she was facing, but positive that it was good. She clung to it back then like the crows clung to the telephone lines. 

Now I envy her. She believed without too much wondering. It felt real, so it was. What sense could there possibly be in questioning the matters of the heart? It makes my blood boil. If I could, I would go back and warn her, beg her not to read that poem, keep her from taking the photographs, and promise her that he was just bad news. I would ruin it all.

It’s a series of lies, of course, but only the kind that would help. If I’d stopped myself from loving him so, it would be easier for you now. The breaks would be clearer and fewer. You wouldn’t have to catch me crying, folding and refolding some paper that I’ll never let you see. You’d be able to whisper without me flinching in response.

Simply, he ruined me.

I’m not the girl that I could have been. It’s got nothing to do with purity and wholeness, but just my soul and the fire that I foster inside of me. It’s the emotions I pour out until I’m spent. And now I’m so far past exhausted; even if you up and left me in the middle of this blizzard, I’m not certain that I could find the energy to cry.

So it’s hard to say, “be careful” because it sparks a curiosity in you that I dream of suffocating. If I tell you, you’ll know that I’m still stuck in love. If I don’t, you’ll end up wondering if I have a heart at all.


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