You suppose you knew you weren’t okay when you couldn’t breathe.
No. That’s not it.
You knew you couldn’t breathe when you weren’t okay.
Yes. That’s it.
You remember the first time you saw him,
He was standing there looking like fire had nothing on him,
Like even the ocean couldn’t soothe away his burns.
You thought your hands would bleed if they could only touch him.
Or, you thought of all the things you couldn’t feel.
You couldn’t feel the rain and the winds in his eyes,
You had long since forgotten how pain tasted and laughter burnt.
You were used to the punches,
You had never been anything but sharp edges and turns.
You were a lake in the middle of a forest,
as unreachable as a monster and distant as a nightmare.
You had died with all the words you could not speak,
You thought you wouldn’t touch him.
But you did.
Or rather he did.
You never knew how much you could hurt until him,
until his words and kindness and eyes caught you.
You never wanted to look away, but staring felt like a challenge.
Like he would burn you alive if you’d only give him the chance.
You knew the moment you met that he would hold your heart in his hands.
You remember how fear tasted the first time you saw him fall.
That day you also remembered disgust.
You hated yourself for the weakness he brought back.
But then he touched you and the world went away,
He touched you and it was like something was pulling you away.
You would never be the same you once were.
In his lips you found salvation, and damnation, and fear.
You’d never been more afraid than you were that day.
Because in his lips you also remembered you had to walk away.
And who were you?
Who would you be if you went away?
You weren’t the lake or the forest anymore,
The roots of nearby trees had carved a path inside your body
That no amount of saltwater could ever hope to fill.
Your lungs were two bags of empty salt,
And your heart had turned into a withered seed.
Who were you if not the monster in the lake?
Who were you if not the nightmare of the forest?
Trees could not feel and water could not see.
You would never stop feeling and seeing him as you walked away.
Who were you if not saltwatered tears and lust?
Who were you if not a shadow of the night?