By Jacquelyne Nemeth
Don’t say you love me. You don’t love me if you don’t know that my favorite smell is when it rains in mid august and you go outside at 4am and inhale. You don’t love me if you haven’t seen me at my worst, when I’m crying so hard that I can’t breathe. Don’t say you know me if you don’t know why I can’t eat popcorn at a movie theatre. You don’t know me until you’ve seen me at my most vulnerable side, when I’m sound asleep. You don’t love me if the sound of my laugh doesn’t make you smile. You don’t love me until you know why I hate the color Purple but love Lavender. You can’t love me if you don’t know why I can’t sleep unless it’s light outside. You can’t fully know me if you don’t know that New York is my favorite state and that I’m terrified of Alaska. You don’t know why rainy days are my favorite, and you don’t know why I love Orchids. You don’t love me. You don’t even know me.
I loved my hair blonde until some unworthy
said he liked it better black
“I think you look better when it is black, you look beautiful.”
I dyed it black without question, never once hesitated
I loved him without ever hesitating
Never caring for myself
Never making sure I could swim before I jumped in the deep end
I couldn’t even catch myself when I was falling
I look better without him
I look beautiful
Over two decades and I didn’t feel free until he left and my hair was
He falls back into me but
he never stays
He’s like each season- staying for a while, warming me, making everything beautiful, giving me the chills, and then leaving me cold
Seasons stay for a little while, and then you wait for Summer to come back around to bring you that warmth
But what do I do during the other 3 seasons?
I mourn Summer, I miss it
I miss him
I will wait through Autumn, and another cold winter
Spring will creep up on me, as I wait and hope he comes back
Summer has always been my favorite season
I miss it the second it leaves, and when it comes back, I can’t get enough
I’ve always loved it, I’ve always loved him
I can’t tell you how many times I cried for him. I lost track when I started bleeding for him. I took a shot for every time I thought of him. Every thought was like a star in the sky- impossible to keep track of without getting lost. Before I knew it, it had me feeling exactly what I wanted to feel: nothing. I’d wake up in the morning and it was the same routine. Not a day goes by where I don’t wish that I looked him hard in the face and said the words that have been itching, burning, clawing at my heart for years. It’s not easy to stop loving someone when they’ve woven themselves into your heart. You can’t help it, you don’t know you’re falling until you’ve hit the ground. How do you cope in the aftermath when they’re still woven in, but they’ve left? I wanted to cut him out, it was the only way. I can’t tell you how many times I tried.
I can’t remember his favorite color. I forgot what he likes to eat for breakfast. I don’t know his sister’s middle name or what he wore to his dad’s funeral. I do remember the feeling of his skin against mine in late June. I still get that feeling in my stomach, the feeling I got when I first saw him. I can still feel my heart racing the way it did when he sat next to me in the car. I have his voice memorized. My favorite song is his voice singing to me at 1 am while we were driving in the middle of nowhere. I remember the spark that went through my entire body like a wave of electric when he first looked at me, really looked at me. He looked at me with purpose. Feeling his heartbeat with my hand on his chest is the best part of him that I’ve ever touched. All this time has passed but I can still feel the warm summer air hitting us when we walked outside hand in hand. There’s one thing about him that could never slip my mind. I see it in his face, I hear it in his voice. I feel it on his chest and I feel it in his kiss. It balances me out when I’ve been thrown into a hurricane and tossed around. My favorite memory, the best feeling.
I remember how much I love him.
About the Author:
In author’s own words: “My name is Jacquelyne Nemeth. I have 24 years of spit and vinegar pent up. It comes out in poems and stories. My words are like seeds. I bury them, and after the right care, they grow. I’m a garden of words now. Thank you for reading the flowers that bloom.”