The River Flows North to the Delta


I may have lied about sleeping that night but only marginally. After curling up on the floor most pathetically and keening like a dog that’d been kicked too many times, bawling harder than I thought possible, I crawled into bed having nothing left and drifted off for a few hours. Knowing that I had church in the morning and the ache that pervaded my body, I was ambivalent about waking up.

But I slept like a stone
and the rest washed over me like a river
eroding the dirt
and my eyes woke to the morning
and my eyes woke to the morning
and my eyes woke to the mourning
of something that had been murdered
only hours before
And I pulled myself from the river
weightless and smiling
as if I was not made of stone
I was taken by the currents

And one by one I told those that mattered the story of what you’d said to me and the decisions you’d made. The trade up you made, you see. And, while I said it with a smile on my face because it felt like a weight had been lifted, the sorrow in the eyes of the people who knew me and knew you was difficult to swallow. But I did my best to keep grinning because part of me was relieved. I didn’t have to worry about the stress of something I saw play out a million times in my head over the span of a few weeks that you could have cared less about. I should have seen it coming long before it did. But I guess I should have felt like I was in good company because nobody else understood it either.

Shame on me for being blinded by the light of the feelings I had for you. I never believed you’d do something like that.

I sat down on the couch
with the wonderful friend
one that I often refer to as “my other mom”
and I felt bulletproof
because the grief wasn’t there
But I wanted the story known
Because I know how I am with pain
Ignore it until it becomes too much to handle
The pain.
And as the story unfurled from my mouth
there was something I didn’t expect
There were tears in her eyes
Drops of saline, careening down her cheeks
creating reflections of the tears
I was somehow finding in mine.
Somehow, it hurt more than I’d registered
It was not okay.
Nothing was fine.

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