Claustrophobic

It’s time for you to leave.

Here we are,

Standing in this room which could be the equivalent of a jail cell.

Cinderblock walls, stone floors, and 2 of everything.

2 beds, 2 desks, 2 dressers, 2 closets.

 

And for now, 2 people.

 

This room is claustrophobic.

Too much stuff in too little of a space.

And even though I don’t want to look at the mess,

The only other place to look is at you,

And the pressure building behind my eyes

Is a tell-tale sign of what will happen if I do,

 

So, I continue looking at the mess.

 

Refusing to face what we both know is coming.

The logic of a scared child who believes a jacket across the room is a person in the dark.

Maybe if I ignore it, it’ll go away.

If I don’t see it, it can’t hurt me.

 

How do you expect me to stay here without you?

 

I don’t want you to leave.

I can feel your gaze piercing the side of my face.

My heart pounds and my hands shake.

This is the moment that I’ve been dreading all day, all summer

The fear’s been building for months, and I’m still not ready.

 

I feel like I can’t breathe.

 

My body is claustrophobic.

Too many feelings in too little of a space.

The ache in my chest,

The nausea in my stomach,

The tears in my eyes.

Sweat drips down my forehead

 

I don’t know if I can do this.

 

My mouth opens to say the words,

To finally let you in on the truth,

But my breath stops, and my voice faulters.

My pride halts the admission

 

How do you expect me to ever be ready?

 

I know you’re gonna leave.

I wish there was something left to do,

But all my things have been unpacked,

And neatly put away,

And now it’s time for you to go,

And to leave me in this unfamiliar place.

 

You say my name and I finally look at you.

We’ve run out of time, and I know it,

So, the dam breaks, and the tears leak.

I unpack my feelings like we unpacked my stuff,

Turning my metaphorical baggage upside down and dumping it all out.

There’s no point in trying to hide it now.

 

You pull me into a hug.

 

I tell you that I don’t want you to leave,

And I tell you that I don’t want to stay.

But you say that you have to, and you say that I will.

And then the moment’s here.

 

The goodbye is what I’ve been dreading.

 

It’s time for you to leave.

You tell me that you’ll be back in a few days,

That we can take a tour and explore together, trying to make this place sound better than it actually is.

You tell me that I’ll be fine,

Despite the way that I’m feeling right now.

 

I just don’t want you to go

 

My mind is claustrophobic.

Too much fear in too little of a space.

And even though I know it’s crazy,

I can’t stop the fear coursing through me.

I feel as if I’m weighed down with thoughts,

Of everything that could go wrong, and yet,

 

I know that you have to go.

 

So, my arms unwind themselves from around your shoulders,

We say our goodbyes,

Say that we love each other.

And then, taking a shaky breath and pushing away my fear,

 

I let you leave.

This poem is about: 
Me

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