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Fight or Flight

by Jillian Spiridon about a year ago in heartbreak
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We do what we can to protect ourselves.

Fight or Flight
Photo by Sebastian Seck on Unsplash

I thought I knew you best until the day

you told me you were leaving, and it

was the first time I thought my heart

might pound out of my chest, the panic

rising, making it feel like I couldn’t breathe.

you said you were done, ready to move on,

and I couldn’t believe these were words

trailing from a mouth I knew so well,

from a face with bright green eyes that

I believed had spoken to me alone.

we lie to ourselves and try not to see

the signs as they unravel before us,

and I should have known from the way

your eyes no longer crinkled in affection

when you looked at me each passing day.

even now, I think of you and feel such

white-hot pain that sears through me

as if I’m dying or drowning inside-out,

and I know I should have been the one

to leave first, to avoid all this fresh pain.

it’s been a month, and I imagine if I saw

you in the grocery store or at the gas station

I would turn and run the other way before

I would ever look your way and remember

just how safe and warm you made me feel.

maybe I’m a coward, a bird itching for flight,

but I won’t say I’m sorry to you when you

did the leaving, the breaking, the hurting—

all for a life without me in it, a world where

it’s as if you and I never even happened.


About the author

Jillian Spiridon

just another writer with too many cats

twitter: @jillianspiridon

email: [email protected]

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