The Moment when People Die

I was 19, when his “hello” changed me.

we spent fragrant afternoons
drenched in sunbeams,
wash of sand rubbing
his heart smooth 

his voice an anchor,
holding me still.

we built a fort
out of beer cans and
pillow talks,
unspoken tomorrows
whispered into skin,

promises that lingered
long after i left.

i found his “hello”, etched
in ink
upon yellowed sheets
of paper where sun had dried
tears, tracking marks
across photographs.

his smile stretched
across the lifetimes,
waves that burned
their icy fingers

into my memories,
i dove, headfirst,
feet first, always first.

never lasts.

i wandered through
the abandoned beaches,
winter waves that beckoned,
pulling me in
with their mesmerizing songs,
crashing, ebbing, whispering.

the cold wind kissed
sunburnt lips

fingers that trailed
through the leftover promises,
igniting icy longing,
sandcastles of forever.

buried in the sheets
in Boston, two words
changed everything.
i was 22 when his “i’m sorry”
broke me.

new hurt that rippled

across lines that criss-
crossed oceans of silence,

years spent ignoring
intensity that never faded.
until the fingers slackened,
intensity renewed.

“how are you?”
a mantra that saved
and gave new light.

“i’m great, you?”
a warning,
a longing, verbalized.

“i’m perfect”, an answer
that crushed,
lifetimes of yesterdays

into sand that rubbed
away all insecurities
and past pain,

I was 24 when his “hello” stopped mattering.

This piece first appeared on Medium, published by Poets Unlimited. For more of my poetry and prose, head on down to @CharlleyThen to check them out. If you have a Medium account, please hit the green heart or the follow button.

Much love and Happy 2017!

x Charlotte


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