Vespers in gloaming light


“This is how hearts work.” Kelly said, while I stared at the ceiling trying to hide the impromptu tears on a girls night.
Hannah said it too.
And Jasmine. And Jenyth. Through text. Through gif. Through voice messages.
Patti shrugged slowly, sadly, while she said it.
And Mackenzie looked steadily at me, laying the facts before me like cards.
Therese said it over and over, with such kind reverence.
And Katie confirmed it, swiftly.
Even Jay, the only man out of my brothers I’d dare ask, agreed: “This is how hearts work.”

Christina told me “Everything happens for a reason.”
So did Sherwin, while I stood, nauseated at what use to be my front door just moments before.
So did Lisa, her hands in my hair. “A good egg.” She mentioned. “Well he wasn’t good to me.” I replied.
And Jo, even Jo called me unlucky. But mentioned that I wouldn’t be unlucky forever.
Well, I wouldn’t be lucky forever either. I suppose. Not with this track record.

I am sure you are tired of hearing it.
The same staircase of woe. The same constant up and down, never finding rest. Never picking a floor. Always in the middle. Always too far above and too far below.

This is how the heart works.
You hate yourself and you hate him. And you have deep compassion for you both.
You don’t want to think about it any more, but it’s all you think about as you hit the time marker that was suppose to be yours.
It was a dream, just a dream. All smoke, not real, not steady, not alive.
The brain, it knows it.
The heart, it doesn’t. It doesn’t work that way. Or–this is the way a heart works.
Whatever it is, it sucks.

My heart it works, perhaps. It feels the labyrinth of longing and fear and despair and gratitude.
‘Thank god I am out.’ It whispers. It practically screams it.
But staring up at another man’s ceiling fan is enough to undo the whole big ruse.
I just want to be looking at our ceiling fan. You breathing slowly next to me. We are tucked in but not touching.
And then I remember: there lies the problem.
You didn’t love me.
Oh, yeah. Now I remember.
And ouch, it hurts. But this is how the heart works, right?

I’d drown to feel something else.
Honestly. Anything but pitiless rage and a well of sadness so black it’s a dimensional curtain.
Ah well, I’ll simply keep turning my head practically all the way around to ensure that your shiny truck is still sitting there. The one you got without making me part of it, I was a means to an end-but not part of you. I smile, slightly when I see that the living room is on and the fan going. Remember what the sound of the floorboards are. How we skated across them with our violent words.
And wonder, if you miss me too.
And what is wrong with me that it matters?!?

And then I remember, it hasn’t been so long. I am not insane for feeling loss for losing something.
Mostly the hope that I could get it right with someone. No matter their circumstances.
Ah well, ask around. This is how the heart works. It works because it hurts.
And the tears, they are sharper and smaller. But they still come.
When I think of the life I buried in my storage unit, yet again. I am sad. I am low with the weight of it.

But it’s working, so I hear.
Thump, thump, thump! The beating of it. Of my heart, broken or not. Of time. The footsteps of moving on.
But the noise is never you at my door.
And even if you were, what would I do with that?
And why does it matter anyway?

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