Take the Box

It all goes in the box.
The particular cadence of my name on his tongue. All the years of inside jokes and the steady stream of laughter. The signature curvature of his smile. The music we once traded across the distance. The way he likes his eggs.
It all goes in the box.
The comfortable tangle of my legs around his and his fingers and lips marking large swaths of territory across my bare skin. The dive of his voice after 2am or too many Makers Marks or both. The hours of people watching. And the beer he likes. The songs I’ve sung. The desire to take up years long study of the majesty of his skin. Pages of prose I wrote because I couldn’t say. The hours of dreaming about what a life with him could have been. The messages laced with innuendo. The feelings sheathed in words less intense. The small things I let myself hope in the wee, small hours of the morning. 
The hope at all, really.
That all goes in.
This is where I excel; the leaving. The packing away of the remnants of monuments I did not build to lovers I did not keep. I am good at this. I am efficient at the clean up; clearing the space without scorching the earth. That took me years to learn. I am fluent in the languages of walking away; the ways you can bring ending with kindness and grace if they are so earned. I know when I need to leave, be it because I’m ready to go, because I want to flee, or because I am not welcome. It’s an instinct; I’ve already started to protectively withdraw into myself long before my head catches up to what’s happening. I am adept at packing neat boxes of memories and storing them in the attic of my mind, way back in the back behind all the other things I actually need. I let go. I am good at this.
The way he watches me when he thinks I’m not looking. The winding conversations shared in quiet confessionals when we were both brave enough to shed our armor. The weight of his body on mine, the exquisite tug of my hair wrapped tight like a rein across his palms. The places we could go. The tears we couldn’t hold on to. The Butterflies. 
It all goes in the box.
I can do this. I am good at this. I know when I have to go. When I’ve reached my limit. When it’s not gonna work. When I am not wanted. I am good at leaving.
But I don’t want to be good at it anymore. 

3 thoughts on “Take the Box

  1. Beautiful, as usual. And as I read it Amy's “Take the Box” came to mind. I'll imagine that's what you were thinking of when you wrote this.


  2. I would like to learn and be better at leaving – be able to put it all in the box and shipped off to Syberia, returned to sender! I hope you get to the place where you're no longer good at it as you desire!


  3. honestly when i saw “in the box” i thought this post was going in an entirely different direction.

    anyway, like you i have a great knack for walking away and not looking back. no love lost. i've done it more times than i care to remember. not something i'm proud of but its funny how hurt can shape your psyche.

    great post la.


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