How To Deal With a Cheater

It requires strength to let it go and love again. It requires strength to let it go and pick up the pieces.

When you get your heart broken, you have to find the power to make the decision inside of yourself. Don’t determine how to act based on what he is doing, what he has done. What he might do. What he is capable of doing. You can’t control any of that. You don’t have a say in any of that.

Instead, ask yourself those questions and take time to listen to what you have to say. Take a lot of time. Keep a journal. Document the roller coaster. When you feel like you have moments of positive clarity, remember to write down what it was you were doing, thinking, feeling. Try and keep recreating that environment. At the same time, ride out the sadness. Ride out the anger. Ride out the doubt. The confusion. Fear. Impatience. Disgust. Feel them and move on.

Each day you will wake up and not know how you will feel. When your heart is ripped open, it seems like this is magnified, but that unpredictability is just a part of life.

You don’t know and you can’t control what tomorrow brings or how it will make you feel.

You can only control how you will react.

It will take time, but one day you will wake up and decide. And when you do, take that first step towards trust, and believe that the choice you make will be the best thing that has ever happened to you.

3 Months

I still wear pieces of you;
your red flannel, stolen by
or left to me long before you were even mine.

I drink my morning coffee and ice water
from a mug you got me for
an occasion I can’t even remember.

Every out-of-state license plate teases my heart with a playful punch,
And sometimes I look for the time and see you there,
Ticking away on my wrist,
Counting up every staircase I climb
Every step I take
Every mile I walk or hike
Or run away from you.

This is the first time after a broken connection that I didn’t resent the things I was left with.

In fact, this is the first time I am grateful for them, to a boy for leaving a piece of himself with me. We built so much together over the course of two years, it is amazing and beautiful how even after it crumbled, I can see the rubble and just smile. I don’t need to turn back and rebuild it-not just yet.

I hope I was not too selfish with you. I hope I left you with something happy, too. I hope if you see pieces of me that you remember us fondly, because by god it is a miracle we were able to love each other this damn much.

Thank you for teaching me how to love.

To understand what it looks like when things go right in love.

To let go with grace and gratitude and hope, when things don’t work out.

To fight for what you want, without shame. Without pride.

Will we love like this again?
I know you will.
Will I?
I hope so.

But if not,
If differently,
That would be good too.

Grafitti

“How are you doing? What is it like up there,” an old woman spoke. She sat in a meadow beside a massive, grey boulder, a young woman and a young man sitting nearby. The day was warm, inviting. The young woman held a thin blue washable marker in her hand. Whatever the old woman said the young woman scrawled across hot rock.

“Sometimes when I’m sleeping, when it’s cold, I reach over and pat the bed beside me,” she continued. “I tell myself I’m just looking for the comforter, but I’m not. The comforter’s already warm and snug around my body. I’m really just looking for you. I’m really just missing you.”

The man watched them from his spot, his bottom firmly placed on a separate white stone–a dot on the imaginary line where dry husky grass met the green from the rest of the field. The young woman stopped midway through this last blue sentence to wipe sweat off her brow, a light breeze running across her back.

N & E. A few blue spaces ago, the young woman covered this indentation in the rock with rain.

“I remembered something about evaporation yesterday.” The old woman continued. “Rain pours from the sky and touches the earth in the beginning of the cycle. And once it’s washed everything away, it rises back up.” She stopped to look up to the sky. “I know how you can hear me again. It must be lonely where you are.”

The old woman looked down from her perch at the top of the rock and smiled at the young woman. At the daughter who visited every weekend. At the daughter she could not remember.

The young man – a friend – watched silently for months as they both deteriorated – the old woman from illness, the young woman from work. From despair. From loneliness. From exhaustion. Yesterday at the hospital in the waiting room, he had held the young woman to his chest as the caregivers told them the old woman had no more than four days to live.

“Would you like to take a break, dear? I can finish the rest.” The old woman rose and reached out a hand to take the blue marker.

“It’s alright I’m absolutely fine, ma’am,” her daughter said, but the tears in her eyes were unconvincing.

“Please, let me. I have only one last thing to say. Go sit with your gentleman friend,” her mother insisted. With a playful pout and sparkle in her eye, she added, “I think he feels a little neglected.”

The daughter said nothing, hiding the sob in her throat behind thinned lips and clenched teeth. She simply nodded and handed off the marker. Her mother smiled again, clasping her forgotten daughter’s soft hand between her own.

They stayed there, crouching over a grey rock covered in blue words, long black hair and short white hair dancing in the breeze. Smooth skin connected with aged hands through layers of gentle grasps around a blue Crayola marker…

A young man and a young woman sat together on a white stone along the borderline between brown grass and green, staring beyond the massive grey rock inches away from their feet. The young woman rested her head on the man’s shoulder as tears rolled silently down her face. Four weeks had gone by since their last visit.

There was a storm the night before her passing, a day earlier than the radio had predicted. The old woman couldn’t speak, the old woman couldn’t open her eyes. But the patter on the hospital window was enough to leave her with a smile in her soul.

Hotel Metaphors

People have told me
that my choice to be emotionally unavailable
is commendable
and understandable
and safe.
Like hanging a DO NOT DISTURB sign over the knob on my heart
as I clean up.

But I would like to think of this interlude
of personality weed whacking and self-rediscovery
as just another form of getting dirty,
another form of not being safe.

I am tossing in pillows and tangling bedsheets
in the process of getting cozy with myself.
I am flipping through beliefs like pay-per view.
I am filling the champagne bottles
leftover from the last time there was a reason to celebrate
with hopeful scribbles on hotel paper.

Maybe next time I can better anticipate when life will explode in my face.
Maybe I can be stronger in the face of the next fallout.

Upon contentment, or upon the persistence of housekeeping,
which ever presses me more ardently,
I will flip the sign hanging on my door,
and tell the world: I am sorry for the mess, but please come on in.

But until then,
I kindly ask that you please, do not disturb.

The Power of Goodbye

There is stark quiet in the house where once there was screaming,


Fists smooching cheeks,


Knees keeling ribs,


Toes thrusting foreheads,


Angry red palms holding back a howling river of tears.


Now there is silence.


I have never heard anything more terrifying.