We spread ourselves on the sand,
Raised our gaze to the endless black; the star-freckled sky.
I asked you to make up names for all the constellations we didn’t know.
We grinned and wrapped ourselves like silly lovesick caterpillars in flannel cocoons.
I felt you slip the cold medal chain around my neck,
And sometimes I still reach for the space where your class ring used to fall.
I was never one for overplayed love songs,
But ours is one I could put on repeat.
The scariest part of it all
is the long-denied truth:
that life can go on without you,
whether or not I want it to.
It is the sound of hearts stretching,
pretending there isn’t constant ache.
And when they ask: Are you missing him?
They ask as if my heart had a choice.
Tonight’s cold reminds me of December.
Did you think I would forget, love?
How your heater steamed the windows, how the lights were a blur when we drove through the neighborhoods, lights all out of focus, because all we saw was each other.
Do you remember?
How everything felt cheesy, but warmed our hearts like cheap hot chocolate, and how our worries waited only months ahead, but we couldn’t see past each other’s smiles. Or the lights, all out of focus.
It was around that time that we got so love-drunk, you let the word forever slip out your lips when we were tipsy on the winter romance.
It was around that time that we bought cheap Christmas lights and strung them up on our own tree, painting it with the glowing colors we spent so many evenings driving past.
It was around that time that I let the cold burrow me further into your arms. And for a while I mistook the security if your chest for home. And at the time, it was.
But spring melted and faded the lights. Candy-canes, trees lit and sparkling, walls of light, became plain houses again.
(My love, our lights are still up on our tree.
I won’t let go of our December)