He said: “It’s not you, it’s me.”
Damn right, it’s you. It was always you.
You were the first and I thought you would be the last, and it certainly felt like I was your only. But you weren’t and I wasn’t and we weren’t and we won’t be again.
I can burn every single one of your pictures and all of your presents to me and even the jackets that I stole from you, but I cannot burn the memories you have left behind or the feel of your hands on my skin or the taste of your lips in my mouth. I cannot burn away the fingerprints that you have left on the book that is my story. I cannot burn away your smell from my pillow or the sound of your laughter in my ears. I cannot burn off the phantom kisses left on my neck and shoulders. I cannot burn every article of clothing that you ever touched. I cannot burn the look of your face from the inside of my eyelids. I cannot burn your presence from my past. I can write your name down on slips of paper and burn them all and feed the ashes to the wind, but I cannot burn your name from the folds and wrinkles of my brain.
I can burn your letters into a bonfire and let the flames burn my skin and let the heat burn even my heart but all of it is too much and not enough, and you left me there to burn in the unforgiving sun, under the stares of countless strangers, as the tears made train tracks on my cheeks, and you walked away.
Once burned, twice shy.
Twice burned, and forever burnt.