An older story...
I dreamt of falling and twisted, black clouds. I dreamt of night and standing at the edge of a pool of blue-black water. A pool of banshees. They were gray-smoke ghosts with bony faces and wet-straw hair. They surrounded you. You were in the middle of the pool, not treading water, not drowning, just standing upright and looking at me. The banshees looked at me, too. You held out your hand and said, “Come into the water. I won’t let them hurt you. I’ll save you from this.” I have loved you for so long. I could not see the banshees anymore, so I slipped into the water to be with you. And then, I dreamt of being pulled down, down into liquid darkness. I could see your face, blurry with water. You only looked at me as I raised my hand to you. You only looked at me as the banshees took me deeper. Why didn’t you save me?
These are my nightmares to you. I am not able to tell you what really lives inside my heart. I can only write how it feels to live underneath your shadows. Shadows blocking the light. Shadows that I love. I wish I could hate you and your menagerie of demons. I try to let you go, but you’re always there, beckoning me to stay, telling me your heart hurts without mine. But I believe your heart is numb. Has it ever been bruised? Has it ever bled for another? I wanted so much to be the one you bled for. I wanted to be the one who could bring tears to your eyes, but all of this only happened to me. I bled. I cried. I watched the sun color the sky pink at sunset with you. I watched the stars as they spun around us at midnight. I did so many things with you and pretended that it would last forever. “It will,” you said. “I love you.” I love you too, and the world collapsed.
I dreamt of stars -
The one named after me -
The one you gave me.
It falls and fades into the black canopy.
Everything is so fragile
And my veins bleed onto my skin.
There’s this feeling I get when I’m around you. On the surface it looks like love or lust or some kind of emotion that would lead me to wrap my arms around your neck and smile, like I owned the world. But in all honesty, within the deeper parts of my bruised heart, I hate you. I always have. You say I’m everything to you. You say I’m beautiful, but it will never be enough because your words are empty.
Look, here I am - Juliet, the girl who wants to find her Romeo. I hold onto you like you are him. Like you have come to save me and love me with everything inside your spirit. You put me on a balcony. Made me feel like I was the sun you were spinning around. You climbed my balcony and said the sweetest things and the stars sang. I had found my Romeo. But like all great tragedies, people must die. But Juliet is the only one who dies in mine because Romeo was never Romeo at all. He was only the poison that killed her.
When I was a little girl I saw a boy with wings. He was a performer at a party. He was ivory colored, his hair much darker than his skin, and his eyes were aqua blue. He wore black angel wings that glittered purple when the light hit them just right. He would dance among the others - the women dressed in silk roses, tiaras, long black eyelashes, and the boys wearing black, silk capes. Everyone danced and did magic. Some nights I would follow him outside. All the stars seemed to fall around him as he caressed the wings. He never took them off.
I believed in magic then, but I have forgotten now - how to see the magic in life. I used to see it in everything, even the ugly and tragic, but now I only see your heart devouring mine. You are the wild beast in my nightmares. You are the darkness hiding in the light. You are the muse drinking all my tears and then spitting them back at me. You are the fingers plucking off my wings. Why can’t I let go of you? It’s as if I enjoy grasping onto pain. How do I let go of these things? Let go of the banshees. Let go of the banshees. They do not love you and you cannot change them.
If your heart could feel, let it feel this. Let it feel meaningless words and glass shattered hearts and tears that burn. Let it feel the pain of loving someone and not being able to touch them. Let it feel the frantic spirit aching, aching for a love it cannot obtain. Let it feel.
I dreamt we were running through a never ending garden of rose bushes. You ran from me. I could hear you laughing. I smiled and laughed and let my hands sweep across the roses as I ran for you. You stopped and turned towards me. You said, “Open your hands to me.” I did, and only then did I see the thorns cutting into my skin - my bleeding hands held out to you, aching and wanting your touch. My heart was open to you, too. It had been bleeding all along.
Don’t let me remember your hard skin and tattoos. Don’t let me remember your words in the middle of the night as your body rose beneath mine. Don’t let me remember because those thoughts are waves crashing on my open heart – the salty sea cutting deeper, stinging the wounds.
You always say, “I have done so much for you. How can you hate me? I’m the best you’ve ever had.” And you want to be my friend. And you won’t let me let go because you need me. You need me now, but not later. Why won’t your heart break? How can you love me and not break? Why must I chase after you and pick up the pieces of my own heart after you’ve stepped all over them?
I know you don’t love me half as much as I love you. You say, “You don’t know how I feel,” but I do because you tell me in my sleep.
I dreamt of bleeding wrists. I tried to drink the blood back into my heart, but it tasted like your skin. Not filling, not healing, but I continued to drink because it tasted like you.
I dreamt of a place made of light. I was happy there. You came to live there, too and I saw you and my innermost being blossomed, but then it began to rain and the light faded. It wouldn’t stop raining, but I kept telling myself that it would and that as long as you were there nothing would cause me pain. The light was gray, but I held onto hope because I knew happiness would return. When the rain stopped we would be happy. We would live forever in the light. The rain never stopped.
You are gone now, but it doesn’t mean that I’ve let you go. I’m so afraid of this silence and this infinite black space that surrounds me now. It breaks over my skin and stings the soft spots – the parts of me you bruised. It hurts to dream of this silence.
I closed my eyes and dreamt of the black. It wrapped around me like black wings. The wings I had seen so long ago were here again, brushing against my face, cradling the healing heart. This was not a nightmare and you were finally dead inside your artificial light, but were you really? Had I really let go of you?
For I never woke up.
*All photos via we heart it. If any belong to you, please let me know and I will give proper credit.