The scent of your skin lingers
in the hoodie you left behind.
I see your smile reflected in
the window of the cafe where we had our first date.
Your hands still rest on my shoulders
when I walk backstage.
A ghostly reminder of the times before.
I still wear a ring. As though still promised.
Promised to the memory that refuses to fade.
You knew it would be hard to let you go.
You left your mark across my life
before being torn from it.
Knowing it was not your choice makes it harder to let go.
But you are no longer mine. Your hand is promised to someone else.
I had to return your heart.
You gave me mine back too, but bruised. Tattooed.
Not so easy to forget.
Even as you prepare to walk down the aisle
towards a woman you have not seen.
A woman chosen for you.
Race, religion, and heritage to match.
A pair to please both families
where your American love would not.
But we do not stick.
The world achieved what we promised it would not.
We could not rewrite the stars.
We could not change the world, our worlds.
And gravity, reality, pulled us apart.
But the traces remain, love letters floating around the world.
Of a love lived. And lost.
*Written November 2018 and recently rediscovered (Yes, Mom I know you still read this and worry <3)