This is How I will Remember You by Ari Eastman (Poem#2)

This is how I will remember you. 

by Ari Eastman


The one who finally made me stay. When I had been so ready to give up, to throw in the towel and admit defeat. I’m done! Look! I’m done! Nothing out there is worth it. My heart is charcoal and I’m auctioning it off to someone who can find use for it. I’m kissing strangers who mean nothing, my love is a blackened piece of meat left on the barbecue. And I do not care. This is me, not caring. Moving forward in a life of nothing. I taste like disinterest and lonely.

And then, there was you.

You, the one who made me throw away false ideas of pride and dignity. The one I crumbled before, but not as a result of weakness. I came apart from honesty. Held my hands out and just said, “Here, I am all in.”

You, the one with a mole and dimples, and brown curls that hurt in the “I want my children to have curls like that” kind of way. Everything is overwhelming and I try to explain it in a rational way. But my words disappear with your hands wrapped around my hips.

I remember you like a tattoo. Our memory is painful and permanent. You linger inside my skin and I have never known how to laser you off.

I do not want to.

You wait for me at the bar and I think about not going inside. I am so scared of the possibility. Because you could so easily be everything. My body tells me you are about to be everything and that very thought triggers my feet. I am ready to run before even starting. Because you are about to be wonderful. You are about to make me laugh until I cry, sitting in that bar. I come home with bruises on my elbows because I press them so roughly into the table, enamored with you. My head rests in my cupped hands, looking at you. This is how I remember you. Asking the bartender if we could sit at a table, she says we must order something and huffs away. You make a face. I laugh.

I am always laughing with you.

This is how I remember you. My heart on the edge from being so full. I cannot tell if I am crying from laughter or from loving you so much. Everything blends, watercolors of our memories. Blue. Purple. Red. I cannot see straight.

But I remember you.

I love you. You are kissing me and we say this isn’t right, but we don’t know how to stop. I love you. You tell me to go and I come back because you’re crying. I do not know how to let you go when you have become necessary to my survival. You are a lung. My liver. My actual heart.

You tell me to never leave.

But I have to leave.

I loved you. You tried to love me.

This is how I will remember you.



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