You used to call me late at night and say you didn't feel good.
You would come over from across town, you'd smell like beer, you'd look so sad.
You talked crazy then, about how existence was optional, and even death was something your mind could survive.
You kissed me hard.
You made no sense.
When you told me that you loved me, tears welled up in your eyes
And I felt myself sliding toward you like the floor was tipping sideways.
You used to bring me flowers in all different colors and tell the same stories over and over.
You never remembered that you told them before.
You sat on my porch and smoked too many cigarettes.
You drank a lot.
You used to say if you could tell the world anything, you would tell them to be mindful.
But you never said of what.
All you wanted to do was fly.
You joined the military on a whim.
You started talking even crazier.
You kept saying you never asked to be born.
When you asked me to wait for you I didn't hesitate
But I knew you weren't coming back for me.
You used to disappear
And stop returning calls.
Then you'd show up out of nowhere with your slow smile and your sideways glances
Like nothing had happened.
You never told the truth about where you'd been.
You would get angry over nothing
You seemed lost inside your head.
You'd sit and talk absentmindedly, as if only to yourself
Then turn to me with widened eyes and ask if I was going to leave you
I was 18
You scared me
I loved you
I always said "No."
You'd pull me in and kiss my belly
Lift me up over your head
But you'd be gone again before my fit got back on the ground.
You used to write me letters
Say you loved me
Ask for pictures
You used to write me letters that took up pages, and say you couldn't wait to see me
Even on lined paper with blue ball point pens your darkness showed.
Even in writing you ran hot and cold
I held fast and insisted you loved me
I stuck around and cleaned your wounds
I gave you a key to my apartment
I listened to every word you ever said.
Then one day you just stopped coming
One day you just disappeared.
And I started telling people about this guy I used to know.