You’re twenty-five, counting down the days till you’re allowed to feel again, measuring time in terms like,
“He broke me, but I am rebuilding”
Learning to get dressed every morning and not wonder whose bed he’s in, or if she’s getting dressed in front of him, if each piece of clothing comes off just as quickly as it went on, because you remember the way skin feels on skin, the way his fingers wrote ballads with the way they danced down your body.
You’re twenty-five, teaching yourself to turn down the radio when a song comes on that makes you remember the ways he left, the ways he wouldn’t stay gone till he had scooped out every last bit of you, had left only the shadow of you sitting in that favorite chair of his in the corner of the living room.
You’re twenty-five, learning to avoid dark corners and the way a piece of furniture can make you feel scared, because on your worst days he’s he sitting in it, and all you want to do is curl up next to his ghost, but there’s never enough room.
So you’re getting older, and you’re learning to stop making room for the people who don’t move over for you on crowded sidewalks, who don’t blow on hot coffee before handing it to you as you rush out the door in the morning, people who don’t remember the ways you roll over in your sleep, or that “two sugars” really means three.
You’re getting older, learning to appreciate the way raindrops feel, even when you’re afraid of mascara running down your face, learning to get up in the morning without screaming into the pillow, learning to set the table for one and be okay with an empty place setting
learning to love again is the same thing as
learning to start again.