Letters from my ex

I saw you in the supermarket today

Safely hidden from your sight

By a pile of soap on display

Not the brand you buy

I saw you pick up

The cheese I used to like

For my breakfast

And put it down, like hot coal

And I knew then

That you still thought of me

When your brain was

On autopilot

When you heard our song

And smiled that sad little smile

Writ with regret and memory

When lying in your lover’s arms

Your body still adjusting

To a warmth that isn’t familiar

Not the way it used to be

 

I know this

Because I do it too

When my lover kisses me

It is foreign and new

And pushes me off kilter

Thinking of you

I still pick up eggs on the way home

And my lover is a vegetarian

When my mind wanders

It wonders if you sometimes

Think of me

When you can’t sleep

At 2:56 am, restless

When you water the plants

We planted together

When you see the little pieces of us

Still standing in the universe

Even though we fell apart

 

When did we get so afraid

Of love

Of life

Of everything in between

When did we start fearing

Endings so much

That we ran away from

Every chance to begin

That we tasted the bitter ashes

Of failure and finality

Before we could sip from

The honey of hope

When did we get so jaded

That we were so sure

Things wouldn’t work

That we never even tried

Greys colouring over blooming hues

Refusing to believe in good

 

And I want to tell you

That I’m sorry

For never giving us a chance

For dooming everything

Before it could ever start

And crushing fresh buds

Under the heel of my stubborn belief

My love, you deserved better

Than another heartbreak

But perhaps the universe

Works in its own ways

You look up and catch my eye

And a brief smile is all we share

Before you pick up a brand of cheese

I do not recognise

And I pick up the tofu

You would never eat

And we walk away,

To return to new homes, new arms

 

All I can do now

Is hope you are happy

Because I think I am

There’s this soft contentment

Replacing the numb exhaustion

That lay in the wake of my bitter anger

I am learning

To let the past lie

To look forward instead of back

All the things you tried to teach me

That I was too stubborn to learn then

Are healing me now

And I pray you haven’t forgotten

How to hope and love

Though I might have taught you to

Distrust hope and shun it

Because dreams and disappointment

Were two sides of a coin

Too easy to flip

 

And we were both right,

Just on two polar ends

Refusing to budge, refusing to see

Any middle ground

That now paves the path

I walk on

Littered with lessons from

Past mistakes

Perhaps one day

I will see you on it

And we will smile at

Our previous selves,

Fighting in futility

While we will walk on

Together or otherwise

To learn from fresh mistakes

Until our destinies pull us apart again.

 

-Gautami.

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