From my ribs, I am untying the wires you used to tether yourself to me. I untie them slowly, because the release is more painful than I imagined it to be. The more wires I untangle from each bone, the faster my heart rattles against my rib cage, urging me to stop the ache. For a moment, its defensive efforts hold my fingers hostage with a memory of a past version of you. Instinctively squeezing my eyes shut, a highlight reel dances along the backs of my eyelids of when time would drown in your ocean eyes, my hands would rest on the sides of your face, and I loved you in infinite amounts. However, the unraveled wires lying beside my feet remind me of how persuasive you could be. When my breath would catch in my throat over a new realization of your rotten character, you would coax me with your gaze, spill sentences from your pink lips with the right amount of sincerity in your voice, and wrap your arms around my chest, slowly squeezing out the reaction you wanted from me. Now, with more determination, I resume untangling a wire, delicately slipping both ends of its length in between each of my ribs. Soon, all the wires that once coated my rib cage, preventing my heart to pulse with clarity, lie tangled among each other in the dirt. With the weight of your wires no longer suffocating my desires, I nurture the indentations left on my bones from your power with gratitude in my heart. I savor the rediscovery of the independent woman I have always been underneath all of the layers of shame, manipulation, and deceit that were bound to my ribs so carefully disguised as love.
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