In February, I read a self-help column titled:
“How to Love Your Depressed Lover.” I followed
each step: Kissed the sadness from your
belly button, savored the things you’d only admit
in the dark, believed that I could squeeze
love into your worn body.
In April, I collected rotted
algae-covered promises from your gut
and squeezed them through my fingers
as if I could will them into truths,
as if I could keep you from doing what
you were always going to do.
In June, I learned that your words
hold less weight than your scrawny, 5’11” frame,
that you thrusted your shame
into me like a child thrusts toys
under the bed to keep their mess
controlled and secret.
In August, you finally left, so I took up
painting and stammered strokes
of black and blue across
a stark-white canvas—
the first time in months I’d allowed
myself to take up space.
It’s been a year since your stage-four emptiness
swallowed me whole, and still, I can’t stop
thinking of oxygen masks on airplanes
and how I hadn’t caught my breath before
realizing that you didn’t need saving—
just help surviving for a little bit longer.
Gabrielle Sorge dreams of a world in which she could love off of baguettes and olives. When she's not writing poems or drinking copious amounts of coffee, Gabrielle is most likely listening to R&B from the 90's and early 2000's.