it sits inside him, like the night he tried to drown himself in stomach acid and whiskey.
it sits there heavy, all the weight on his shoulders, on his chest, and in his teeth.
it sits in his stomach, yellow leaves of bile, making him ill.
you know how to cradle it, to let it make a home in you. you let it grow on you. you give it your arms and neck and back to stretch into. it asks for a place to hide and you open your palms, where it sleeps, thorns and flowers and all.
it is soft and wild and leaves blood wherever it goes.
the beating of your heart will make his ears hurt and won’t let him sleep at night, his eyes are always somewhere else. somewhere safe. somewhere distant. somewhere not you. you think it’s going to be different this time, you think, “this time, they’re going to want to stay.“, but you’re drowning in their palms while they’re halfway out the door, their eyes drowning in someone else’s. you give them your best self only for them to hand it back to you in a plastic bag, with broken shards sticking out.
He can’t look you in the eye, says, “it feels like seasickness, like the nausea you get while spinning in circles. Makes me feel dizzy and weak.”
you hold your hands out to him and all he sees are thorns, yellow leaves, and all the weight. he will spit you out three sizes smaller, and you will hurt so much you shut away your own heart.
– excerpt from a book I’ll never write