For the longest time I thought I had come home unscathed.
That when you’d spread your fingers too wide one time,
I slipped through your fingers and limped home.
That the ringing in my ears was not from your voice
the voices I hear in my head were not your neighbours
asking us why the fuck we were arguing at 2 in the morning.
I recount our story without ever reciting your name.
About how your hand slapped me so hard that my neck whipped,
I could not speak,
my eyes watered,
and my heart broke.
I still remember the little things:
The rhythm of your chest falling and rising
underneath my dark hair curled across your body
illuminated by the faint Chicago skyline lights.
Six bottles of wine lining your bedside table
and my AP Biology book tossed on the floor.
It’s funny how things can change in a tenth of a second,
in the gasp of a breath,
in the blink of an eye,
in a sound that slices through the air so loud,
so demanding of attention
that it leaves only echoes of silence.