Photograph

 

Someone opened the door to my darkroom,
Streams of light attacking the film I’d been so carefully preparing.
As I stared at ruined strips of plastic it hit me,
You and I were like a photograph.
Underdeveloped,
Overexposed.
I’d bare it all in front of your lens,
Give you every piece of me
So you could turn it into a paper memory,
And then we’d switch.
Your crooked smile frozen as the shutter closed.
Like the door that never should have opened.
I never should have opened myself up to you,
But I can’t stop me when I’m feeling reckless.
You seemed like my favorite kind of chaos,
But you were the stop sign for my racing mind,
Guiding me down the road I was supposed to be on.
The day you finally took my hand I felt like I’d found my home,
And just as quickly I felt the walls begin to crumble,
And the roof caved in,
And you faded away,
No longer in focus.
Your face was fuzzy,
But my feelings were more clear than they’d ever been.
I didn’t need to zoom in to know the pulse of energy running through my body had been for you,
The sense of calm that had enveloped my mind had come from being around you.
It was the same calm that whispered to me, “He’ll catch you,”
As I fell a hundred miles an hour toward the concrete,
Too afraid of the taboo that shrouded the words “I love you,”
Because I think I love you.
I love you, but I can’t tell you that.
It’s been too long,
And it’s still too soon,
And we’ve both got one way tickets to different parts of the world.
Too far away for a photograph to bring us any comfort.
And every passing day reminds me that a mile feels so far.
I try to tell myself that it’s only 5,280 feet.
Only 5,280 feet.
But you won’t be just a mile away.
You’ll be nearly 4,000.
That’s more than 21 million feet,
And it suddenly feels like 21 million miles
And I’m reminded that it was foolish to think we could find a way to meet somewhere in the middle,
Even if we could,
I probably wouldn’t.
I refuse to be allowed to interfere with your dreams of kissing the northern lights,
Let them wrap themselves around you,
I know you like the cold,
But let them keep you warm the way I wish I could.
Find the star that’s a little darker than the brightest one in the sky,
That one’s mine.
You don’t have to look at it every night,
But think of me when it catches your eye.
I know you say you’re not afraid of anything,
But when you get scared,
When you want to come home,
Look your fear in the eye and say, “fuck it.”
Because that phrase opens the door to a room full of the best moments you’ll ever have.
Moments meant to be lived,
Not photographed.

Written 6-17-17

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