"when the elephant in the room explodes" (2013)

when the elephant in the room explodes
i stop eating so that my insides do not become flammable,
my organs collatoral damage

when the elephant in the room explodes
i block your number and your name and any chance of us ever working out
i was never going to stick around
but you were never here to stay

when the elephant in the room exploded
your right hand was at my throat and your left was holding hers
i sink
just thinking about it
about how deeply i fell
into your ocean
how fast i was consumed by your fire
i almost lost myself to the blaze

when the elephant in the room explodes
i stain the walls
red
like your name
like rejection, like shame
like the love that had to force its way out of my body through blood and tears and word vomit

when the elephant in the room explodes
i forget your name
call you danger
call you disappointment
call you the one that got away
“we” becomes “i” once more
and i speak only for myself

when the elephant in the room explodes
i try to remember who i was before you
i try to remember what it was like to want and not need
i try to remember what it was like to hold and not choke
i try to remember what it was like to breathe before you took my breath away
i try to remember that our fall was never mine

i never meant to fall
in love
only to rise in it

i never meant to
love you
at all

when the elephant in the room explodes
i try to forget your eyes
i try to forget that my love for you was unconditional,
that your love for me was circumstantial
that it was all a matter of convenience

when the elephant in the room explodes
i am left with nothing but pieces
you the broken glass and my hands bloody from trying to hold you, me, us together

when the elephant in the room explodes
i meditate in the stillness of the aftermath
i gather what i have left, pick up the pieces,
give them one last kiss
and feed them to the flames