Swinging Stars

Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward.
– E. Cummings

I like the stars. It is the illusion of permanence, I think. They’re always flaring up and caving in and going out. But from here, I can pretend – I can pretend things last. I can pretend that lives last longer than moments. Gods come, and gods go. Mortals flicker and flash and fade. Worlds don’t last, and stars and galaxies are transient, fleeting things that twinkle like fireflies and vanish into cold and dust. But I can pretend…
– Neil Gaiman

You don’t let him go, not right away. You can’t.
Heartbreak was not made to be a simple thing. Matters of the heart never are.
You’ll play with fire just because you need some warmth where his body once was.
You’ll tease and tug at the memories, think back to the first time you saw him, remember how orange the moon was the night he first kissed you.
Your soul will ache with remembering. (You remember it all too well.)
Your bones will rattle with every sob, breaking like waves against rocks.

Eventually you’ll venture outside. You will see another orange moon.
You might be at a bar, a couple drinks down, and his favorite song will come on.
(No one else knows. It is still your secret.)
You feel most deeply for him at night.
Chasing the darkness, hoping one star after another
will lead you to the sky he now sleeps under.

How is it that the person that knew you best is now a stranger?
Maybe you’re still in love with his shadow.

Remind yourself of it all. Remind yourself of the mistakes you made.
Ask yourself, why is he gone now? You know the answer, I know you do.
That’s why you remember the firsts. Because you thought the firsts were the forevers.
Before you broke him and subsequently broke yourself.
When you’ve had the best, how do you learn to live without it?

The love you have for him now –
the love that lingers without him – it is a spectacular kind.
It comes with the force of a hurricane,
spinning and twirling everything that used to make sense.

The love you know now, it is real.
The love you once knew, that was real, too.
Beautiful and chaotic, like stitching together the face of heaven.

As you forgive yourself, remember,
a love that lasts forever does not necessarily have to last forever.

He is a dream now. A memory. Your past.
The wishes you make near fountains.
The mistakes you won’t repeat.
The sound of an acoustic guitar.
He is swinging stars you’ll continue to chase from afar.

– Samantha Prasad

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