A Time Traveling Love Letter to Myself

I want to tell you to stop.
I want to tell you to hold your breath—don’t jump right in;
but you think you’re already doing that.
You think you’re keeping yourself safe,
but it will take you years to see the danger you’re in.
I still wake up some days and marvel that I’m alive.
That’s the scariest part: knowing how close I was to losing myself,
to fading away until I wasn’t you anymore, but just a
shadow of him.

You’re playing in traffic—
lying down, trying to make a snow angel out of asphalt.
You have this beautiful imagination—
this ability to cast a spell over reality that makes the
world yours—
and I love that about you—
but this time it’s become entrenched in your stubbornness,
and you’ve turned denial into an art form.
You can’t see how he’s breaking you—piece by piece—
and you’re enjoying every bit of it,
asserting masochistic tendencies I didn’t even know you had.

I want to tell you to get out,
to pry yourself out of his grip before he gets his claws
any deeper into your heart,
but I think this is the only way you’ll learn.
You are going to gain so much knowledge;
you’re going to learn exactly who you are,
where you come from, and where you’re going.
All the fantasy will be torn away, and
you’ll be all that’s left.
You’re going to learn how to see someone for who they
truly are in an instant
and how to swim through the lies to find the truth.
You’re going to learn the names of all the things you’ve
felt your whole life
but could never articulate.
You’re going to learn how sick you are
and how to heal yourself and others.

It’s going to hurt; you’re going to bleed,
but you will rise like a tidal wave,
and you will be magnificent.
You see, you’ll become me.
And maybe this is selfish, but I love us both too much to
keep that from happening.

***

Taryn-and-RobertTaryn Miller is a recent graduate of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. With her degree, she plans to become a high school English teacher. Taryn has been previously published in UCCS Riverrun, Eskimo Pie, and Rebelle Society.