I can hear your heartbeat across the miles that separate
your hospital room from my classroom. It’s straining under
the weight of years of life. I am sitting here
thinking back to every time I’ve cried in your living room,
every time I hid in your bathroom to get a second
alone, every time I ran around the kitchen table
or played basketball in your driveway. I sit here with water
swelling my eyes thinking that it might be over soon. I’m
not ready for this to be over. I’m not ready to
let go of your voice when you complain about the three
papers on the table that must be cleaned because the house
is a wreck. I am not ready to walk through the door and
not get bombarded with questions and accusations
about what I must have been doing while I was away.
I sit here crying. I cry and I just want to run to
your house because it’s the only way I know how to keep
my heart in my chest and my brain standing still. You are my
safe place, my playground, my sunrise. You are my smile after
a week of struggling. But you grasp your chest and gasp for air
and the clouds I created to block the future from my
view are lifted a little more.
I don’t want to see this.
I don’t want to lose you.
I can’t let you go yet.
I can’t loosen my grip.

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