below is a selection of three pieces by @tipsyloveletters.
i wish you had never told me about her / i wish i never heard her name / escape your lips / because now / every time you say you love me / i can’t help but wonder if / you almost loved her / and i never told you about how / i cried the night you went out with her / how i laid in my bed / waiting / for you to come home and / tell me / you loved me more / you let a week pass before / you told me how you kissed her / slurring your words / drunk / i held my breath over the phone / in fear that you’d hear my pain / slip through an exhale as you described / as you described her lips on yours / i bit back tears / choking / on the pride i’ve lodged in the back of my throat / and i know that i was the one that asked for this / i was the one ready to let go / now she’s gone and i’m still here but / i can’t help but wonder if / you still wish i was her
when grief visits
grief resides in the seventh room of that hospital floor. spending its evenings by the window rocking back and forth, and when everyone falls asleep it sneaks out and i find it lurking the hallways of my home. floorboards creak as i feel it make its way to lay down next to me. and for a moment we’re both silent. i watch as it disintegrates and pieces of my grief fly up above me morphing themselves into memories ready to be played on the ceiling.
i see you / i see 2003 / eating strawberry shortcake at my third birthday party / i see picnics by the lake / and reading The Paperbag Princess at our local library. / now it’s 2006 and there we are / you walk me to school every morning / i see planes and bus rides / it’s us, at playgrounds and dancing around our living room / all these images pop up and leave / one hundred memories per second / full speed / christmas concerts and eighth grade graduations / i see navy / navy sweaters and navy dresses / and they’re calling my name up to the stage / you’re proud / flash forward to sixteen and now i’m driving / i hit a couple of pylons / but you still drive with me / summer of 2017 / i see my feet / my shoes are making circles across the floor / but i don’t see anything else / i hear it / i hear them say it’s the end and at this point there’s nothing left to try / and i feel it / she’s in the kitchen crying / he’s holding you / the beginning of the end / i see the twenty-ninth of august / first day of chemotherapy / happy birthday is sung on an out of tune ukulele / labour day weekend / emergency surgeries / i see pens and paper and emergency contact forms / i see you’re afraid / i tell you it all going to be okay / i see ambulance rides before school and hospital visits / i hear screaming and see falling / and you’re alive, but are you really? / because this was the beginning of the end / seven weeks later / we’re twenty-three days into october / and i ask you to wiggle your ears one last time / we only have a couple hours / good-bye.
and then it’s gone. i reach my hand forward to grab any remnants of what’s left. any piece of you left, as tears stream down my face and i can feel grief lay down again.
“people have to leave, and
that’s out of your control.
it’s okay to cry.
living doesn’t mean alive
and you killed yourself at seventeen,
but it’s not too late.
hon, you’re still breathing
i may come and go,
but i’ll never leave.
so close your eyes tonight,
and try to get some
i am a glass cabinet filled with overstacked porcelain plates ready to topple over. in full view for others to see, held back by only this door. waiting for someone to open me, and rearrange what isn’t right inside, but no one wants to risk cleaning up the shattered pieces on the floor
(it’s too much work to love me).
. . .
elizabeth, 19 from toronto, canada spends her free time in coffee shops writing and sharing poetry, prose and flash fiction on her instagram page. @tipsyloveletters