I do not make amends; I pack bags. I do not write goodbye letters; I leave batter on the kitchen counter. I do not seek forgiveness; I book plane tickets. I do not leave; I vanish each time in search of redemption, in search of recognition, in search of something bigger than myself. You, you smell like lust, shattered dreams and petrichor. You’ve built monuments from the hurt and forts high enough to protect you from the prying eyes of strangers. You have hung out all the heartbreak to dry. The day I met you, I unpacked my wounds, laid out my memories and exhaled. I hadn’t realized until the moment I let that breath slip that I have been holding it in. I never thanked you for not flinching at the mess I made on the bedroom floor. I grew up with paper wings in a family that carried sharp objects in their purses, threw around kitchen knives like darts not once missing their targets. My punctured wings can no longer carry me, my feet have been rooted to this ground for too long; this ground is quicksand sucking me in, the abyss so vast my breath catches and my wings, my paper wings they’re trying so hard to fight against the odds, against the currents, against the holes that have damaged them. Hope is the only thing greater than fear except when fear is the mouth of a shark I once called home and the mouth has been clasped shut and all that is left is darkness and the restlessness that I will never find the more I need to remind me how to fly again. You grew up believing there are two types of people, those destined for greatness and those that aren’t. You grew up believing you fell into the latter and I grew up without being taught not to try to save the ones who do not want to be saved, no one taught me how long to hold on or when to let go so I grew up letting go too soon in fear of burning my hands, little did I know they were made out of flames. They say you leave a piece of your heart with every person you love, then why does my chest weigh heavier after every goodbye? My heart is in shambles left behind with those who needed it more than I, my heart is in shambles left behind because I wanted to stay.