I want you to miss me like your chest has been ripped open
Like you’re so distracted you can’t function
Like I am your every thought of your day
Like you have heartburn
Like you can’t sleep till 5am but still wake up expecting to see me there
Like you see me in shadows and on the edge of your blind spot when you drive
Like the sight of roads we walked makes you want to wipe them from existence, no, frame them
Like you want to be so busy you forget me
Like you want to stare out the window seeing my face where you should see the sky,
Hear my voice where you should hear the breeze
Like you’re cursing time for being so short when we were together, and so long now that we are apart
Like you don’t want to talk to anyone because it would tear your thoughts from me
Like a message from me gives you the same relief as finding an air cave 20000 feet under the sea
I want you to miss me like I’m missing you
The places of us
The places where we walked are like fairy circles, meaningless without the rain, our hearts beating against each other, the doubts and exhilaration. Without you, they are just places, but walking by them it is as if some of the spell still remains, a ghost of you, a ghost of us. And I remember like it was yesterday, spinning in the rain, mocking every K-drama that's ever been made. And I am lost all over again, as if you never left.
All of you
I want your tears on my shoulder
I want your frozen hands in mine in the middle of winter
I want your complaints at my dinner table
I want your heart racing against mine during a scary movie
I want your panic over the phone as you realize you forgot your wallet at home
I want your hair blocking my drain
I want your Lego collection cluttering my bookshelf
I want your music bleeding my ears
I want your paint splattered on my carpet
I want your bad puns killing me from the inside
I want your oversalted meals curling my stomach
I want your stuffy candles blocking my nose
I want to wake up to your snoring
I want to fall asleep to your drool on my cheek
More than want,
I need these things,
these things are all of you,
and it's all of you that I need.
I don't want to be alone in the crushing night, mocked by my pillow and the ache in my heart. Why is there no deep heat rub to make the pain go away, or a foam roller just for the little nooks and crannies that have turned to steel since you left? When I was fresh and supple, full of hope, my heart moulded itself in your baker's hands like a ball of cookie dough. Now it could be chipped away by a chisel, chunks of me falling away. You wouldn't be able to change my core anymore, not without splitting me in half and gluing me back into a shadow of my former self.
Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Many people rethink their choice once they get to know me. I tell myself each time that it doesn’t matter, but a little part of me dies, never to be justified with a burial or tears of goodbye. Oh well, a little less to recycle down the line.
Many people reduce the contact they have with me, emotionally, physically. Boredom is contagious, and so is my joyless experience of the world. When it comes to two sponges meeting, I always fill the other with my void, instead of absorbing a little taste of life.
People reuse me for a few specific purposes. No matter how miserable their lives get, mine is always worse. When they’re feeling down they’ll offer a drink at one in the morning on Saturday. Of course I’m home alone. Of course I don’t have anything better to do. Of course I’ll come and keep them company. I can’t judge the drunken mess that grows before me, my life is so much worse.
When you see me again you won’t recognize me. Life will yet again have thrown me into a new mold. If I was a carton, I would bear the stamp of ‘recycled plastic’ with pride on my forehead, but instead I shrink from the world. When I was in high school I was molded into the class dork, I was the guaranteed daily entertainment, books and tray sent flying every lunch time. When I was at uni I was molded into a waitress to get by, thrown from one rough pair of hands to another, the tips far and few between. At my first graduate job I was molded into a secretary, countless paygrades below what I studied for. I guess that’s what a pair of breasts and no voice gets you. I fooled myself for a second, that I was finally taking charge of my life, and I quit to become a librarian. I slipped into my familiar high school mold, the environment only fractionally kinder. Well wishing family members bullied me into joining a knitting club, and I found myself in a new mold yet again. Every time I get remolded, there’s another set of fingerprints in me that I can’t shake. Some are but whispers, others are deep as stab wounds. Every time I get remolded, I get a bit less flexible. One day I’m afraid I’ll get stuck between molds, and the world will finally reject me once and for all. Every time I get remolded, I lose a bit more of myself. There’s only so many more times it can happen before there’ll be nothing left to recycle.
Copyright Anna Treffer
I'm careful, I knock. You open the same door you've been opening for me for the last seven years. “No,” I say, “I meant the other one.”
“There is no other one,” you say.
“Don't be silly,” I say. I fetch my broom and patiently clear away the leaves, revealing a trap door underneath. The lock is rusted, it looks like it hasn't seen the light of day in years. I know exactly how many years.
You called me in the middle of the night, blubbering about how you would never find anyone like that again.
What about me? I'd wanted to say, but like a good friend I didn't.
I poke the trap door's lock and it crumbles into dust. I'm falling, falling, falling. Finally! But no, behind this door is a long-buried family secret you've never told anyone before.
I bite my tongue; I'll try again next time.
I knock. You open the same door you've been opening for me for the last seven years. I could claw my hair out, but I step inside, and for the first time I see a new door. Solid steel, with a dainty combination lock, it belongs behind a painting.
I fiddle with the lock and eventually the door clicks open.
Finally? But no, behind this door is what still keeps you up some nights, what you did that summer when you were sixteen. Why didn't I know this? But at least I know now.
I turn back, the door you've been opening for me for the last seven years is still wide open. On the other side I can see the hallway of our past. The day we met. The first time I saw you cry. The first time you hugged me. The day I found out you're scared of the dark. The day you found out I love Hawaiian pizza and gave me the nickname that is more real than my own name now.
I love that hallway, it's warm and familiar, but I don't want to keep going back out there. I try to nudge the door shut, but it won't budge. I quietly get some oil for the hinges, you laugh at me, and don't see the pain inside as I try the door again. Not an inch.
Desperate, I slam my shoulder into it, but it might as well be the wall.
“You're always so goofy”, you say.
Yeah. Goofy. That's me.
Hurting everywhere I give up and turn around. You won't look at me. Have I ruined everything by trying to shut that door?
Wait, what's this?
There’s a doorway I’ve never seen before, leading into a hallway just like the one I came from. You give me a shrug as if you have no idea how it got there.
I might as well have a look.
I walk, and I walk, and I walk. It seems to go on forever, twisting and turning like a maze. Even if I wanted to, there’s no way I could get back to where I was.
I round another corner, expecting more hallway, but there’s a door made of glass, built to slide. I shouldn’t be surprised that I’ve never seen it before, considering I’ve never been down this hallway.
I approach it.
Is it time to see myself out? To walk away from seven years, and all the hopes they held?
Through the spotless glass, I can see everything I've never seen before, and this time it's not awkward family secrets or teen memories.
I give it a pull.
The key must be tiny judging from the size of the keyhole. I might never find it. I look back at the hallway behind me. A wall has appeared, sealing me in this little section of hallway with the new door.
What have I done? Where have you put me? How long are you going to keep me here?
I test the wall for any sign of give, but there’s no way back. The only way out is forwards.
I face the glass door and charge, ready to bounce off your defences yet again, but the glass shatters.
Dripping from a thousand little cuts on my heart I kneel in the wreckage of your door, and smiling, you extend a hand to me.
“What took you so long?” you ask.
Copyright Anna Treffer
To my pen pal
We have met in ink, we have met in pixels
We have met in endless hello's, and can you hear me's
We have seen our faces, freeze at the most awkward of times
I know the intricacies, of all your emoji's
You know the pains, I can't share with everyday faces
While I was skiing, you were tanning
While I was resting, you were cramming
I have never seen your double layered socks,
but I have sung Happy Birthday at my screen
It's 4am, and I can't sleep
I know who's got a pun for me
I drift away, grinning in the dark
I know that one day, we will meet in a hug
Copyright Anna Treffer
My pet loneliness
It's a pretty unique pet I think
Some days it sits in its little wicker basket,
I blast sad 80s ballads on my little boom box
watching my pet raise its sleepy head
as it watches me dance alone, yet again
Other days, uninvited
it slithers across the ground
where I huddle in a corner,
knees to my chest,
eyes full of any reality but this one
It opens its mouth,
I see its pretty fangs,
and it swallows me whole
I don't mind
No one can see me here,
in my pet loneliness
I live on a blade,
cold as kitchen tiles
common as my name
How do you do it?
you will fall
On one side is a chasm
it is called Past
I twirl and take a peek
struggles wave at me
heartaches grasp for my tears
happiness sings out of tune
milestones trip me again,
how could I forget
One liners I never said,
chase each other round and round
On the other side is another chasm
it is called Future
It is black,
it is warm
I squint at blobs of colour
jelly or Lamborghini, there's no way to know
where are my Future Glasses
I must have forgotten,
to book an appointment
I dance on my blade
if I stop, I will surely fall
Past will swallow me,
Future may raise me,
but I dance,
for if I stop
my blade will cleft me,
and I will never know,
were those jellies, or Lamborghinis