Something Other Than You

I’m all wrapped up in a twisted game of fate and “keep it to yourself.” I can remember your smile and the way it lit up the room, filling the corners where the smoke collected. Trouble rested neatly on your brow, shadowing the thoughts you’d never share aloud. Not that I blame you; I am but a stranger, gently prodding for the key to unlock your mysteries.

But I’m all caught up in your arms, your sheets, and the telephone wires humming lazily outside your window. The methodic rhythm of your breath slows to a steady stream, widening and winding through the valley. I’d need a raft just to get across. You’re safe there, for now, balanced carefully on the edge. I’m simply too far to be reached, with your fingers laced tightly behind your spine.

And so I am trapped in the weight of your gaze and the pressure of the moment. The current moves me, carrying me away when all I asked for was a nudge. Validation seems unreasonable. Now I can’t decide what’s right and what’s wrong. Did I move forward, or have you taken a step back? You laugh and I smile. You breathe and I choke. The air thickens and swells; does no one feel it but me?

I’m engulfed in a spaced called the “unknown.” With colored strands of light and dark, this woven blanket tunnels my vision and suffocates my mind. The clouds keep changing so the weather won’t stay still. I ask questions and find no answers. This is a bitter pill I’m being forced to swallow.

But I know this game all too well. You give and take, and I’ll wait patiently for the tide to ebb. Every movement of the earth rocks beneath my feet. A breeze moves across the prairie and I wonder if you’re thinking of me. So I’ll give, and you’ll take once again. The cycle repeats until at last I step away. All I hear is white noise as I slowly turn the dial. An attention once rapt focuses on something different. It narrows my sights and tunes me out, until finally, I am wrapped up in something other than you.

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