Feels like I’m caught in a blizzard
in Mt. Everest without a map
Feels like I’m walking in the woods
with no compass
Feels like I’m lost in the desert
and there is no living soul in sight
I keep circling back
to where I’d come from
each cycle
more desperate
than the last
meanwhile my time
is liquefied
and flushed down
and dissolved into noxious gas

How do I defend myself
if thousands of conversations
with another man
can be undone by a single word
from you?
How can I claim
to own my heart
to give away as I please
if the memory of your love
is more tangible
than the man sitting
zero inches away from me?

Haven’t I earned
my freedom yet?
Haven’t I paid for it amply
with ten years’ worth
of crying myself to sleep?
Is it still not enough
that everything in my life now
is second best
and I had to teach myself
to hold my peace?
I pick at these chains
every way I can
with everything I’ve got
only to wake up everyday
bound to you even tighter.

And you weren’t even there
during those days
I defended my love for you
and my certainty of you
to the unbelievers who keep insisting
that just because
we didn’t end up together
must mean we weren’t meant to be.
You weren’t even there
during those nights
I’d call out your name
while I was in bed
with another man
and all my goddamned ex-boyfriends
know who you are.

You aren’t even here
that I’m thinking of you
on the eve of my belonging forever
to someone else