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This is good for me.

We agree to fall away from one another.

It is a free-fall, hands flailing for something to grasp midair and I wait for the impact because I always knew it was coming. The moment I crash to the ground is not fleeting. The pain drags out and this is way too painful to be right – all these blows to my gut and their aftershocks that pierce every sensation. I don’t stop bracing for those.

I get up, scramble to erase what I can get my hands on, playing tug of war with my father’s logic and my mother’s emotional heart. My parents battle as I tuck away words and photographs in drawers. This is good for me.

But gazing where we used to linger is unbearable. I tunnel underground, searching for new paths into my room that don’t pain me to walk without you. I shatter when my mind is unoccupied, so I enlist some help, diving underwater and into grid-lined force diagrams. I’m so good at that.

I don’t stop bracing but suddenly I’m not getting hit.

I’m far from where I landed my free-fall. A month or two or three has aged the place.

I recognize it. I want to explore this familiar terrain on foot and trip once or twice and see who’s here and maybe even fall again. No fear. It looks good out here.


Not Anonymous

Treading Water