Your Arms

Relationships ,

I used to be the fish

that held my breath

and submerged,

my arms around your neck,

as you sank to the bottom.

 

I could never hold on

as long as you could

hold your breath.

 

I used to be the one

under the blanket

with the hole

to watch scary movies by.

You gave me the blanket,

but not your arms.

 

I used to be the girl

who woke up at night

unable to breathe,

wanting you.

Only then

would you hold me,

and then, shortly…

I was alone again,

praying to a God I didn’t believe in

asking to let me wake up again.

 

No, one other time.

During shiva for your mom,

I leaned on your shoulder

and you enclosed me.

I had forgotten how your

arms felt around me.

 

You used to stand at my doorway

tearing up

listening to “Butterfly Kisses,”

far away.

 

You only cried

in large heaving breaths

when you

admitted me to the

mental hospital

against my will.

 

Where were your arms?

Where are they now?

Why do I hurt for them

when I see my love

carrying his daughter

to the ocean?

Enclosing her in his arms

on the couch?

Kissing her head

and calling her his “sweet girl?”

 

Where were you

when I was her age?

Where are you now?

Why do you not see my heart?

Why do you not share yours?

Did you ever?

 

I realized…

that I don’t remember

the last time you told me

“I love you.”

 

And it’s hard for me to remember

how I love you.

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