I look in the mirror of the year and see him behind me.
January started with a ring. White, blue, me, you.
Curled together and sprinkled with glittering gems.
As the snow melted I took courses in depression and numbness,
acing anger and failing to communicate when it mattered.
Stress causes hair and diamonds to come loose.
I forced him away, but kept the ring. Losing him made my grades soar.
Calculus couldn't teach me to integrate loss as experience.
Best friend. White, blue, me, you.
I tried to glue the ring together. Stones fell out regardless.
I learned that time passes, always. Even as nothing moves.
Summer came and I discovered family.
A sister with ice cream who didn't know why I was crying.
Who didn't know it was my anniversary.
Most of the gems were gone.
But other times, I really was genuinely happy.
Except when I genuinely wasn't.
The clouds and sky reminded me,
white, blue, me... him.
Fall. Again. School again.
Getting drunk on cocktails of adventure and loneliness.
Writing words I knew would never be read.
I learned that the bear is right to hibernate
through what it can't survive.
I started to hide.
It felt better than crying every night.
My roommate never asked.
College. Fuck. Decisions.
A clear head is needed to make decisions.
Stop wearing the ring. Focus.
Make things up that people want to hear.
This is what you've needed to focus on.
Shut up. Let the brain work. Shut up.
Pheromones, you've done enough damage.
Applications complete. Good.
Mom, get off my back. I'm doing fine.
Can't you tell?
I never make any noise when I cry any more.
So no one notices a thing. I'm doing everything well.
In school I learn to be an excellent liar.
And excellent at swearing.
Put the ring back on.
Only one semester left.
The blue is falling off the ring.
White, blue, me, him.
But underneath, the silver band is even more beautiful.
I made it.
Things are getting better.
I have learned from the bears to hibernate.
I have learned from myself how to hide.
January began in New York.
Surrounded by European platonic kisses and wine.
I'm waiting inside myself
until it's safe to come out again.
Because time passes.
Things will get better.