Happiness

September

Golden light spills into our palms and too often overflows- amber rays waterfall and everything transcends. The sky is fragrant like a melon. You ignore me and I scowl at you. You have flicked me into a flame that cannot be extinguished.

Do not be surprised if you get burnt.

October

I tell you I love you and you laugh. I think my heart is breaking but instinct tells me it broke a long time ago. Everything snapped in two when I realised how I felt about you. How far gone I was- spiralling down down down into the depths of desire. Black pits Satan himself would tremble to enter.

I tell you I love you and I am a fool because I expect that to mean something.

November

I still can’t breathe. You are leaving me and my breath is gone. My throat tightens like a boa constrictor is wrapping itself about my neck and squeezing me until loss bleeds out in silvery chains. Oh I cannot forgive you. Fettered to you, my heart pulls away from my rib-cage as the tide runs from the shore each night, to follow the moon.

I hear your laugh when I roll over in bed at night: it chills me.

December

Street lamps hang suspended in the blue dawn and they look like stars. Puddles of oil-spill dripping down and bleeding into the sky. I try to catch a ball of light, but just like you, it falls through my fingers and escapes from me.

I tremble at nothing; I am scared of what you are doing to me.

January

The trees are black and my wounds are bloody. You are gone and I don't care anymore. I thought I could try to be happy and I think I once was. But nothing lasts forever and I am sick of pretending to be whole when I am broken. I chase down a star and catch her- she shines so bright she blinds me.

Victory is cold and my winnings turn to dust at daybreak.

February

It is colder than it was in December and the only way I can equate time passing is with how days stretch before me, long and gloomy, like shadows. Time yawns ahead beckoning me to follow but I do not wish to trace its footprints when I want to go no further.

They ask me if I am happy; I cannot answer them because I do not know what that is.

March

The light reinfects the darkness like some kind of odorous reawakening. The whole universe seems to be telling me to let you go. I find I have a much tighter grip than I thought and so I continue to hold onto the idea of you. The trouble with this is that ideas are like light bulbs; they don't go out unless you flick them off. All the blood in my body is supplying energy to keep you alive inside of me.

All the oxygen I inhale becomes electricity.

April

I thought I would die before summer came but obviously I was wrong to equate you with the sun because she shines for me in your absence. I am silly to call it an “absence” when this sojourn of yours will be perpetual.

I wonder when I shall understand you are not coming back for me.

May

I drive my fingernails into my palms and draw blood. I turn seventeen and think of all the birthdays I shall have without you. I wonder if, over time, my accumulation of these ages will be a means of replacing you. I finally admit to myself I have a hole in my heart.

I am tired of trying to patch it.

June

They tell me I look happier and I don't know what that means. Maybe the mask I have been wearing for so long is finally beginning to meld into my features. I look into the mirror and smile.

To me, it still looks like a frown.

July

The world is ablaze around me and yet my heart is cold. I place a hand over my chest and listen for a beating- all I can hear is a moan. I think about the way you used to look at me and experience a kind of fire running along my bones. My anger soon quenches any sentimentality I might feel. If piecing myself back together means tearing you apart then I will do it. Over and over.

I will do it until I am whole again.

August

My walls sweat in this heat and leave blue stains on my forehead. I pace pavements at dusk and catch your reflection in shop windows. You never returned for me, but a girl can dream, and I've locked you away in a jar. One day, perhaps, I'll twist off the lid and every memory I have of you will shoot up into the air like a firework. I will feel all those things I once felt when you looked at me.

I will wonder what you are doing now.

September

A year has passed. Time tracing circles around my thumb. Another September has come and I am here and you are not. I realise what I should have known all along. I wanted to find happiness but she could not be found: what I was looking for did not exist. I thought she had taken your shape but she had not taken anything from you. God made you true to your nature and built you bitter. I had thought I could find peace of mind in another's, but you were the bullet, not the bandage.

I suppose I was naive to think I could be happy. I suppose I was naive to think happiness was something tangible I could reach out for and hold.

What was last year to me?

It was twelve months deluding myself I could find happiness.

It was the last time I gave a damn.

© 2020 by AMBER SIDNEY-WOOLLETT