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In the space of love and courage, I breathed you in and exhaled the touches you left on my skin. Letting go brings pain and lucidity in equal measure. But I now know myself better than I needed to know you. At times, the self I’ve discovered is a stranger invading my life without mercy. I try to hide. But hiding does not shield me from the authentic self that sees through walls of wood and stone and soul. At other times, this self is a long lost friend I’ve needed, one who had tried to reach me inside the continuum but failed.

You became my blues even though songs in me were playing out of tune. I saw you then, inside yourself, being what could never satisfy my needs. It was then that I longed to become your savior. I would have nailed myself to your cross to die for your sins, particularly those against me. I would have sacrificed everything to gather up your wrongdoings and caste them into the sea or burn them to ash. But you did not see the palms of my hands nor the center of my feet. The blood pooled in the soil, it dripped for you and the love you rarely showed, except when beds were unmade and sheets almost tied in knots. Even then, you were not there. Not really. Your body sweat against mine in thrusts and moans, but the you that lived inside was gone, giving orgasms to someone else in your mind.

So I found the courage to climb down off the cross and return love to me. It was long overdue. The touches now dissipate into the air, leaving a fog of forgetting. I am here, alone. I listen to the blues now and again, in tune, because they no longer live inside in strange unearthly tones. The stranger in me tells me stories of who I once was. I listen and let the notes of history sing to me what will never be again.

© zaji, 2016