“Time takes time, you know.” – Ben Folds
You’re in every crevice of my hands,
a reminder that I once held yours tightly.
You’re in the corner of my eye,
but it’s just a vacant wall in the back of the alley.
I can’t lose the subtle memories;
they chase me as I race toward the finish line that’s one century away.
Like the time we laughed at the other couple in the restaurant,
the same table cloth in my kitchen reminds me of this story at breakfast.
The first time I saw your face is still stuck
into the depth of my sunken chest.
It’s a mark of my scar that no one can see,
but it’s the sting that only I will feel from the first steps I take in the morning, until I finally take the last Ambien.
You are here,
as a ghoul, a shadow in my bookshelf.
On normal Mondays,
everyone notices my double takes of your possible presence.
The stillness in my apartment
is the last thing I want to hear these days.
Nothingness in the air sucked my laughter,
but I can still feel your gentle chuckles when I close my eyes.
“You miss her,” says the ticking clock on the shelf.
He knows these tears of mine;
he stares at them every New Year,
when I watch the fireworks on the television.
“Where are you,” I mumble as I fall asleep with the 5th beer in my hand.
You’re here but you’re not.
It’s the worst kind of double-edged sword,
I need a handle on why you’re still in my head;
I need to grip the fact that I’ll never truly hold you.
“You need to get over this,” says the towel I cried on last night.
It’s another memory during the water break at the office;
there’s always another commercial that
sounds like it’s saying your name.
“It takes time,” says the kitchen tablecloth.
I nod in understanding, sip my tea, and walk out the door again for work.
I look back and say to your imaginary image in front of my entryway,
“Time will help me erase your footsteps in my life.
But time takes time
and I don’t think that I’ll make it to the finish line today.”
Special thanks to songwriter Ben Folds and author Lila Cecil for inspiration for this poem.