i never leave. inside, i house my pain somewhere
get further away from who i am, who i am to become
to remain,
a woman i don’t long to be
with feet here and heart there. the balance i fake
the smiles i can’t complete,
i almost stayed

knowing better,
i’d become least to make you greater, greatest
knowing better,
folding myself to fit into small boxes, leaving you open spaces
knowing better,
tunnel vision rings. a lifetime of downsizing myself
knowing better,
nothing worse than knowing the good, living less than my truth
humph, i almost stayed

the addiction i couldn’t shake
love sneaks up and in. sometimes, so alluring
someone to sink my teeth in. someone to hold near:
my fingers tangled in the tendrils of your hair
receiving sighs that meets us at the fork in the road
kisses that floats in the air, tears that bridge the fears
we meet more than halfway.
the cold that turns hot then cold and rolls in shivers
along the surface of moist skin. names whispered and promises made
in highs and lows
temporary peace, soft blooms, unguarded blossoming
yeah, i almost stayed

bathed in black kisses, spinning in black breaths, horizons of black skies
landscapes of ancestors beneath the safe of black oaks
questioning this place because the calm doesn’t remain
the love drowned by dysfunction and insecurity
chaos and screams, not willing to be one’s self
not knowing underneath, we’re someone else
someone we’re afraid to be, together
i almost stayed

so much time come and gone. ambition at the front door
love is optional. this blackness that fights so hard
just to get a seat at the table
a table not made for this skin.
so much time come and gone. made plans, to pin on cork boards
like future visions that we’ll never see
WE cease existing. moments fell by the waist side
sleeping on the progress we made. back to our worse
not allowing us to be human,  less living
i almost stayed

you see, i never leave. fixing up the joint. fixing us. fixing you. denying my broken pieces. duct tape myself with a strong hold.
this space, this gaping void
your belongings still exist, organized in the files of my memory
desperately trying to fill it with someone else, something else
a time when there was no you.
i almost stayed
until i had enough of almost, and i left


*image courtesy of joessistah. creative commons*