I Am Writing to Tell You

That I have learned

to accept that good things exist

although I know that in your head I am a cynic
cursing our old friends and letting go of the wheel
forcing fate to pick what comes next. And I know
that whiplash and fury are the images of me you’ve kept
and that you remember the ease of which I drained
bottles and bawled the torment out of my lungs
from the balcony and how they almost called the cops
before you took me back to your place and rocked
me to sleep because I couldn’t do it on my own

but I am writing to tell you

that I haven’t screamed in months and instead
I write poems about August and paint landscapes
of the Rockies although I’ve never been and now
I take my medicine and pour my life into letters
that I send across the country and I only think
about you when it rains and never out of spite

I am writing to tell you

that I am getting a dog soon and last week I cut my hair
like I do when someone breaks my heart except this time
no one did, I think I just like change now

which I know is foreign to you because back then
you watched me give myself bruises when he decided
he couldn’t handle my anger and made me walk home
alone and how afterwards I made you burn my journals
because I couldn’t stand seeing that life on paper

I don’t want to die anymore

and I don’t think you ever met this version of me

in the three years I’ve loved you and I wonder

if you are still the most tender person in the universe
like I remember you, holding my hair back
from sinking into the toilet water and weeping
with me when I’d talk about the frozen river
under the bridge and how I wanted to marry it

I am writing to tell you

that right now I am eating leftover Chinese food
because I don’t hate the way I look in pictures anymore
and that yesterday I spun around in the satin slip I wore
the night of my birthday when you called me a goddess
and how I punched you in the stomach, my little liar,
I wanted to hate you for making me love myself

but I am writing to tell you

that I do now.

I grip the wheel.

I am good to my body.

I want to live.

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