What Was: A "Not Quite" Love Poem

Image of WRITTEN CITIZEN Senior Photographer Victoria Vogel Salomonsen by Paolo Raeli
I wrote this right after my boyfriend and I broke up. I was, and quite possibly still am, very much in love with him, so you could say I was well over devastated. I decided to take up poetry since my school offered a poetry club in which my best friend was and my favorite teacher ran, so I thought it would be a great outlet for my emotions. It's a little harsh because I wrote it when I was super angry and upset, but we're on good terms now. After a few drafts and a combination of different poems I wrote when I was feeling something, this was the outcome:

Falling in love at sixteen
Was not something
I had ever thought I would do,
But it happened,
And it happened hard.
Like waking up in the morning
To see the sun beams crawling through your window,
And you can't help but let them in.

What was, was,
Late night 4-hour phone calls.
"It's okay, you're more important than sleep."
First thing in the morning thoughts,
And last thing before bed "I love you"'s.

Promises, and hopes, and trust.
Even after we'd had our hearts played before
Like instrumental songs.

Hysterical, frantic talks,
When something went awry.
I'd swear off the rest of the world.
You were the only one who could coax
Me back to reality.
The only one who I believed could get me through it.

Random "I miss you"'s
And, "Can I call you? I just need to hear your voice."
Songs and poems and drawings.
Acoustic guitar sessions over Skype
Because you wanted to play
And I always loved to listen.
Postcards from the places you'd visit
With sweet sentiments scribbles on the side;
"I can't stop thinking of you
I want to take you here one day."

That glimmer of hope
And my beacon of light.

Hundreds of miles apart
Seemed like only blocks away
When it came to you.
But in your mind,
I guess it was more like
Oceans and planets and galaxies.

Because what was, became,
Hours between texts.
Days without hearing your voice,
Once calming and pacifying,
Now dull and ambivalent.

"But I'm not going to abandon you —
I want to be here for you,"
Said with a flippant tone.

Actual tangible pains in my chest
After nights stuck inside my head
Unable to break free from it's grasps
Leaving marks on my arms and legs

Being so immeasurably scared to lose you,
Like how the flora
Must feel at nightfall
When the moon shows
Its face;
And losing you.
Oh god, did I lose you.

When I lost you,
I thought I'd lose myself.
I'd become a shell of who I once was
And crawl into the dark spaces of my mind
That I once believed
Only you could get me out of.

You've taught me
That love hurts,
And words,
No matter how sweet
They once were
Slipping from your lips
Of silk,
Can turn bitter.

You've taught me
To guard my heart
And save it for someone
Who will treat me
Like I'm made of
The purest of gold.
Like I make
Flowers bloom
Just by looking at them.
Someone who won't leave
When the waves get rough.

Although it still stings
To see your name pop up
As soon as I type in
The letter 'J' on Facebook,
I'm strong enough to surpass this.

I can rise up from the ashes
Of my former self
That I've burned from the fires in my heart
Ignited by your loose promises.

I will emerge through the pain,
Like a daisy sprouting through dry soil.
Like the sun glimmering through rain clouds.

You won't be able
To get to me anymore.
But "what was,"
Will forever be in my heart.

Senior Writer

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