For the ones dealing with long-buried memories and healing from old wounds.

It was your smile but it was also the reasons you smiled. Time made a fool of me and it took me awhile to realise I wasn’t one of those reasons. Goodbye, never the kindest of words. You brought it into the realm of cruelty by not even saying it. And I was left, hooked into poisonous questions, holding the word BREAKUP, like a dead baby that no one wanted. I wish you had at least given us a burial.

I have counted the years that passed since, in holes I’ve plugged, papering over cracks of my self esteem with paper planes. They say you’re a new person every seven years. All cells replaced, I’ve been speeding that along. Prising off parts of me that you touched. Hot showers to burn away your fingerprints on my skin, turning wounds into tattoos. I shaped the holes in me into words. I gave them form, let them loose as paper planes.

The wounds that you left on my psyche, on my body, puckered into scars, hidden by tattoos, which carried away the pain & turned into art. The shreds of my self-esteem, I’ve woven into a coat of anger & made you into poetry. For years, I’ve filled in the gaps that you left behind.

So long have I spoken for you in proxy, a ventriloquist talking with a dummy in my head, with your name & face, that when I ran into you recently. (Look at me saying that, like I’d say I ran into a stranger). But you are. You’re shorter than I remember. Leaner. Our conversation is the wake after a funeral, attended only by ghosts.

The paper plane is a philosophy. I’ve lost weight in some places. Gained some. I don’t fit your boxes anymore. You have nothing to do with the ventriloquist’s dummy in my head. You don’t even look like him.

Time, this time an ally, was the decent chap you weren’t. My insides don’t recognise you anymore. The devil has changed his address. Closure can come from a closed door. Or an accidental sighting & no conversation. Hell doesn’t sit here anymore.

You are not home anymore.


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