As read by Amy Chen
Dear Ex Lover,
I promise I’ll stop chasing your memory in my dreams.
I’ll stop bringing your name up over cups of coffee, muffins, and loneliness.
I will marry a man and I will lay my heart on his chest
like red roses on Mahogany caskets
and I’ll have his daughter
and she’ll have eyes reminding me that God still believes in second chances.
and if she ever decided to love a woman, i will love bravery down her spine.
I will be reminded of all the times that we loved,
like there were expiration dates tattooed on our inner thighs.
If she ever comes home with eyelids like cracking Levis
and bruised kneecaps
and a heart filled with question marks
I will hold her like my mother never held me.
I will clasp her face in my palms like the new testament on judgement day.
I’ll tell her that love is the passion that allows you to do the right thing,
and that no woman can play coaster to a half empty heart.
And if she ever feels as if she is alone,
as if she is a hand-me-down pulled out of the depths of mummy’s closet
I’ll remember your name and I’ll mumble it under my breath.
and if she asks me what I said;
I’ll tell her I know what it’s like to drag a woman out of a cold war
and then being too worn to clean up the battlefield that it has made of you.
I’ll tell her that your heartbeat sounded like gun shells tripping over battered cement.
I’ll tell her that i know what it’s like just to want someone to remember you
and that some women are as foul as expired men in produce isles
and that apologies are like oxygen masks on a hijacked plane.
Forgive yourself before you EVER forgive the person sitting next to you.
I’ll tell her to never regret loving in permanent ink,
and that scars only give you stretch marks, something to gossip about
and that hearts and stop signs are fraternal twins,
lost in open roads and hollow chests.
And if my daughter’s mirror ever looks unfamiliar
and she’s too embarrassed and proud to run into mummy’s arms
I’ll pray, that she has friends with hearts filled with thousands of fire flies
who are not too cold to pray with her, who will tell her
to stop looking for the light at the end of the tunnel
and find God in the darkness.
If my daughter ever walks in my house like shattering glass, I’ll tell her about you.
I’ll tell her that we hurt like c-sections birthing dead babies,
and that we cried together,
and we prayed together,
and we smiled together like our smiles were the only ones that mattered in this world.
And that we hurt like women who loved women, who loved people that did not love us.
Dear Ex Lover,
I hope my daughter never knows what a goodbye kiss feels like..
I hope she never knows what “I’ll see you later.” really means.
I hope she never memories the dial-tone of a last conversation,
because a broken heart feels like poisoned butterflies taking their last flutters in the pit of your stomach
Dear Ex Lover,
I hope my daughter never bears her soul at a poetry showcase
with her first love sitting in the audience.
Knowing that the hands she’ll use to applaud her with,
will be the same hands that will never hold her again.
Poem by: Jasmine Mans