The Devil’s Smile is Sometimes Welcome

When you left me

I couldn’t breathe

I was mostly fine at work

Once the first hour in the shift

Rolled into three

By lunch time I had little thought

That consumed me 

If it wasn’t green and cut from a tree

Paying my bills

Working to live 

It’s how I got through my heartache

When you said complicated wasn’t your scene

The drive home was something else entirely

The colors of the setting sun

Yellow orange and pink

Nothing like the beauty of ever after

In the sky to remind oneself

That you decided I wasn’t worthy of time spent

By nightfall I was a wreck

Looking through my window at the blades of grass

Which stretch to the wood

Just behind my place

The grass I know to be the color

That always looked best on your skin

And the wood a hallow place

Not unlike the void 

That consumed me in my stress

Wondering how I would get through a day

 Or a lifetime without you

Begging the full moon

To remind you of my beauty

A light to guide you back to me

In the darkness of never

Strange how those wicked nights

Turned into days passed

When time felt unmovable

And life without your love

A hopeless journey

Now I can look at you 

With an empty smile

Lost to me forever 

in the memories of a hope passed

I’m stronger now

But still lonely

Though loneliness feels less suffocating

now that I’ve accepted never

Letting go of the dream 

I had dreamed of you loving me

Looking at the place you had once filled

In my hopeful wonder

That place next to my son and I

Worthy of our love and loyalty

You standing tall like a soldier

Who would always fight for me

That space is now empty

But I’ve removed your name 

From the trophy

The one you would have carried 

Had you made the choice

To hold me under the setting sun

Into the next day and year

Where forever awaited 

in quiet moments, warm smiles, 

and whispers in the ear

I can breathe now

Knowing it is you who has truly lost

No matter the great company you will find

I know that to have me

Is a gift not meant to be given

in the name of hospitality

I’m like a precious stone

A woman full of wonder in her eyes

Wonder you have chosen to live without

And if I had a chance to spend my life

Without wonder and love, 

it would be death

Similar to the first days

I lived knowing your love was taken from me

Which is such a relief

It’s like getting sent to hell

When you have already 

lived through it for an etnerity

Sometimes knowing I can survive

Is all the remedy I need when feeling lonely

Sometimes the devil’s smile is welcome

When I am certain

That I am a trophy that may sit forever

On a lonely shelf

In the quiet space where you should have loved me

Open Letter to My Ex

J,

It’s been a couple of months now since I’ve heard from you. I think the last conversation we had was the first week of November. I am writing you because well it seems like my soul needs to. I have moments where I fleetingly think of you still. Usually my train of thought brings me to things I wish I could say to you. Before, it was…I still love you, please come back to your love for me, or I wish you didn’t drink so much, or I wish you didn’t have another woman that obligated you… Now, things are different. I don’t feel or think like that anymore. I understand that those are just natural thoughts that follow the feeling of one’s heart being broken. 

Honestly my thoughts are now a bit more cutthroat…I wish I would have gotten my house keys from you, because two nights ago I woke to a sound and immediately wondered if it was you…returning to me when I could no longer accept you into my heart. Especially now that I have begun to truly move on. 

The truth is, I still think highly of you. I still pause at the thought of you, the sound of your name. But I don’t talk about you. I have shared my pain with only one man specifically, my mentor. He helped me understand that I can do nothing but move on. And somehow, something has changed in me. Missing you was a pain that I endured and then one day (and I don’t know which day it was specifically) I just started feeling better. 

I’ve changed jobs since last talking to you, and honestly it has been a big help. I am no longer working in an industry that I hate. I am no longer making shit money. My income has at least doubled, with the potential to be tripled. I get more time with my son. I am able to take him to school each morning and tuck him into bed each night. It’s been a true blessing. 

I no longer surround myself with people whose interests really only included my body. I haven’t talked to D., R., or S. in months. I don’t surround myself with people whose lives are in shambles or who don’t believe in me. I believe that your life experiences are made up of the people you surround yourself with and I have chosen to discard those who don’t adhere to the same values/mindset. And honestly that has a lot to do with you. You were the first man that didn’t ask me to be quiet. Didn’t ask me to tone down my personality or genuinity. I sincerely want to thank you for that. You taught me that it is only right that I be the strong woman that I was born to be. You taught me that I didn’t need to conform to the standards of people around me in order to be accepted.

I’m doing better in my relations with men as well. I am understanding how to set proper expectations and I’ve learned to truly appreciate a “nice man”. No more assholes. You were the first “nice guy” that I had ever given my heart to and again I want to thank you for opening up your heart to me for the time that you did. It allowed me to set higher standards for myself with future men.

I’ve been on a path of self development for a few months now and I do feel optimistic about my future. I have been writing poetry nearly every day and hopefully, with my mentor’s encouragement, I will look at publishing my work soon. You inspired one poem specifically, “As It Turns Out” and I am really proud of it. I hope you know that I value the time that we had together and I know that if I was given the chance to love you again, knowing what I know now, I would still have said yes to the experience. 

Thank you for loving me but more importantly thank you for leaving me. It was the motivation I needed in order to change my life. 

Sincerely,

James