What Heartbreak Sounds Like (A Poem)
Her: You know that sound, right? The one like a train passing by? Or like when it’s so quiet it feels like everything is about to erupt? Like the music in an action movie crescendoing, building up until the big moment, the release, except there is no release, no big moment, so it just keeps building and building and building and building and building and building and building and in reality there is no noise at all, it’s only in your head? You know the kind of sound I’m talking about? Yeah, that sound. That’s what this sounds like—being with you and all that. It’s just so overwhelming.
Me: right then.
Me: not saying anything, but still hearing everything.
Me: vomiting words at the wall.
my stomach: tightening,
into a knot
Me: feeling like I might vomit for real.
Me: kind of hoping maybe I do.
Me: thinking, at least vomiting is some form of release.
Me: still, not moving.
Me (still): months later.
Me: still not moving.
Me: in a—(w)hole—nother state now.
Me: six hours away from you.
Me: holding my pain tight, close to my chest, like a stuffed animal.
Me: an animal, stuffed.
Me: an animal, cut open and emptied of all its living parts, stuffed with lifeless fluff and glass eyes.
Me: lying in my bed.
Me: listening to the air conditioning unit whirring outside my window.
Me: listening to the air whistling through the vents, whining like a tea pot.
Me: a tea pot, whining.
Me: a tea pot, pressure building and building and building and
Me: no release.
Me: drowning in silence.
Me: drowning in heartache.
Me: listening to the air conditioner.
Me: listening to her voice, over the phone playing on repeat in my head, telling me how overwhelming my love is.
Me: saying, I’m sorry.
Me: asking, How can I fix this?
Me: (really) asking, How do I take the undesirable parts of myself and fold them up? Roll them so they fit in the suitcase smaller? Leave them at home, because I don’t need them anyway? How do I take how I really am and replace that with who you’d like me to be?
Me: knowing the answer.
Me: knowing the answer does not exist.
Me: listening to her voice, over the phone, telling me, I don’t know.
Me: knowing that’s not true.
Me: a tea pot, screaming inside my own head.
Me: a tea pot, angry and screaming, steam pour out like a train.
Me: a train passing by.
Me: lying in bed.