After the war

I am feeling the pain of losing you. Of losing the dream of you.

I’m not fighting it. I’m letting it wash through me. I’m willing to follow this to the end. Drink the whole cup.

Through great labour and with much help I have pried apart the end of us from the end of me. Those two things are no longer fused and inseparable.

I don’t know if I will ever be loved. But I can allow now that I might be.

I can’t imagine ever feeling again what I felt when you loved me. But I will allow life to surprise me.

And now?

It’s after the war. The concentration camp gates are open. I’ve been fighting for so long and I’m so tired. My heart is sore, and I cry for you and what we’ve lost. The tears come easily, but now they stop easily too. It is just sorrow. Deep, deep sorrow, but not evisceration, not anymore.

So what next?

Tax returns and office politics. Reality television. And lonely nights.

This world that I have fought so hard to stay connected to is failing to entice me.

Sunrise and birdsong, lovers kissing. There is beauty in the world. I don’t know how to create beauty in my life again. I’m a spectator. I smile at these things, and then I go home by myself. And wake up crying. Still.

I never wanted “next”. I never wanted “afterwards”. Yet here I am. Here, without you.

This dry and dusty plain is not quite the smoking, sulfurous wasteland I feared, but it’s not somewhere I want to live either.

So next is more struggle, and another journey. No longer fighting to take a step against the stretched and straining cords tying me to you. But this time trailing their frayed and bloody ends in the dust behind me.

I’m choosing to do this, and withholding judgement. For now.

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