If I close my eyes and let go of your hand,
irrevocable, irreversible, irreparable,
I no longer have your hand
weaved into mine—
cemented, almost, into mine—
and that absence,
the lack of warmth/of touch/of you
is Merriam’s very version of loss.
so I hold tight, like always, like forever
the dog leash imprints this belief on my hand
in rough, red, raised bumps
so I don’t feel that loss,
lose what is in front of me,
let go of a part of me
it’s a small heartbreak
echoing in the valley of one much more grand
but one loss is one too many
when you build your identity
on the world wobbling around you,
a world flirting with the idea of disaster.
so yes, you could say I’m afraid of loss,
afraid of you slipping out of my grasp again,
afraid of the leash falling against cracked concrete,
afraid of the snow melting down the city drains,
afraid of the sun leaving for its cloudy affair,
afraid of the fire surrendering to the whispers of wind,
for I am a scared girl.
I am scared of basements, of darkness, of speeding cars, of shifty spiders, of cockroaches in toilets,
specific and unnecessary and detailed and absurd,
but I am most afraid of, most scared of,
losing what I don’t have.
laughing in the morning,
cascades of roses on a countryside hill,
nights of someone’s toothpaste smiles,
riding behind a squeaky tricycle,
confusing myself on the subway,
three dollar pizza slices at three am,
I set my head on my sad silk pillow,
deflated by this monotonous routine—
a sentiment the hand grasping my empty sheets understands—
and that is what I fear most.
the loss of the unknown,
the loss of my future,
the loss of all the good I was promised
for all the poisoned lies I’ve endured.
I want my happier days,
my lazy Sundays, my soapy kisses,
my motivation to make it to Friday.
it’s risky to idolize a future in a world that looks the other way,
call it a future of empty maybes, hopeful somewhats,
but it’s the loss of it that scares me most,
and after you, it’s what I need.