The first love of my life never broke my heart for the first two years. There was always something he was interested in, something he wanted to hear more about, something he wanted to learn better than the parts of him. There were always too many of my bones that he wanted to be his own, and not enough time to learn each intricate pattern they possessed.
Instead we let each other have our small parts—the parts that enabled us to fall in flawless harmony with one another. I gave him my dreams. I left my hair in his shower. I let him read my poems. I allotted him my neck, my navel, my feet. He was the only one to ever have my opened mouth. My paintings scattered about his room like fallen confetti after a new year, a new resolution.
He gave me his ears, his knees, his throat. He offered his tics, which I kept in my veins that flowed through every part of me. He handed me the soles of his feet, and I held them to my breast.
We had these specific pieces of each other and kept them close to us—delicately. We had to navigate carefully—our arms overflowing with our lover’s most private parts. We did not want to drop any.
Most men were not aware that I had these pieces that he now possessed. He was the first man to ever notice them and to ever want them.
There was nothing he did not know. There was no realization I did not share. He grew up inside of my limbs, and I grew up inside of his delicate mouth. He was like the perfectly pruned pit of the peach I was living my life as.
We held each other in museums. We held each other while we made over-easy eggs. We held each other when we fought. We held each other when we slept. We belonged together, an inseparable bond, like the daffodil needs its bulb to sprout from. There was so much growth.
Some nights, still, I wake up knowing he is in a different state in another woman’s arms. I know he now has her neck, her navel, her feet. The months have distanced us like a ship leaving its home port forever. He’s drifted out to sea and I know his return will never come.
I wonder if he still gets anxious, or if he still folds his clothes with symmetry before he goes to bed.
Before I curl my body into my sheets, completely enveloped by darkness, I know I have given up and surrendered since the day he chose to go, and left me with a box of my old records and a bottle of wine.