I have to remind myself that you’re gone.
Because on days like this,
I’m convinced I still hear you laughing in the back room.
Because somehow your scent finds its way to me,
of its own volition,
though there is no wind to propel it.
And I swear I see you standing there,
your frame filling the doorway.
I force myself to say it out loud:
You are not here anymore.
The truth makes a poor substitute for your presence.
And my heart quietly acquiesces.
Because it has been robbed of the freedom to choose its fantasy
and embrace the hope of you.
Because you are gone now.
But your bones;
They’re buried here.
And I feel you in the constant rattle in my chest.
It is you.
You linger here.
Despite my best efforts to exhume you from my person.
To pull you out of me.
To lift your bones from my body.
I cannot loose myself from you.
Unravel the intertwined.
Because you’re gone now.
But you linger.
And I walk around on eggshells,
trying not to stub my toes on your memory.
Must I then conclude that entombed in your half-hearted leaving is a plan to remain?
Where you belong.
What soursweet haunting.
When the memories outlive the man.
This original poem, entitled Bones, is a piece written by Eryka Gayle.
You can find her on Instagram @justerykag