“I wish you would have told me about the acid in the back of your throat.”

It’s been awhile since I posted a poem here – my interests are as diverse as they are polarizing, no? – so here’s one that currently echoes my heart. These days I wonder, is the heartbreak from a lost friendship comparable to that of a lost lover?

I think I’ve tried to deny it – all month-long …no, all summer long …no, all year-long, but it’s useless to keep denying it anymore because with maturity and growth come the natural transition of growing apart with friends who (used to) know you so well. Friends you used to pour your heart out, those with whom you left your heart in their care and sometimes, sometimes – vice versa. Maybe no one is to blame because ch-ch-change is inevitable after all, maybe I am in fact the one at fault for not trying hard enough to close the gap. But could you, how do you… bridge an emotional distance?

Our honesty towards each other was one we have always treasured with utmost respect, so I wanted to come clean and did so last August. “Don’t you think we’re kidding ourselves by constantly claiming we’re the kind of friends who can go on for long periods with zero communication and pick up where we last left off without missing a beat? I feel like we convince ourselves this so much that we just end up taking it for granted. Before I realize it, I use it as a convenient excuse for why we don’t talk anymore.”

I am… tired. I am tired of thinking of you and feeling like you’re now a stranger. I understand I’ve always been the one who leaned on you more than you do with me and honest, I’ve tried to change that but you’re all closed up. You are more comfortable with confiding in others and I understand that, but these days don’t you feel like we’re making a mockery of each other, claiming to care yet not really?

We tried, I think we did, but… nothing’s changed. You send me sweet, random gifts and messages, which are all terribly sweet of you, but they only amplify the reality that we continue to use objects, superficial gestures, and long silences to avoid opening a can of worms. We repeat old habits because it’s easier to pretend like nothing’s wrong. Maybe the truth is just too heavy to bring to the surface, so we avoid it altogether.

Hey? I want to be there for you. Honest. What does it take for you to let me in?

If I’m lucky, our paths are only diverging temporarily – one day in the maybe-distant future, they will converge again. But maybe not, who knows. My heart aches at the thought but this is hardly the first time; it will damn well not be the last.

How have you been? How are you doing?

These days when I think of us, I don’t even know what is us anymore.

Did I ever tell you about the poetry
living inside of your bones?
I think I must have.
I think I must have,
and you were too busy counting off the
reasons not to fall in love with yourself again.
I’ve written this to you before,
but your ears were buried underneath
mountains of rocks thrown your way.
How long have you been bleeding?
I wish you would have told me about
the acid in the back of your throat,
but I’m not going to be selfish right now.
I know you lost your voice
before you could ask for help,
but I want you to know that I came here
anyways.
How long have you been bleeding?
I’m sorry, I know you don’t like when people ask that.
I’m sorry.
I keep giving you more questions when you
need answers.
Maybe we can find them together.
And if we don’t,
then maybe we’ll find ourselves
while we’re searching.
-Y.Z, For my best friend | rustyvoices

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