I lost my earmuffs in the move.
I’ve never been one for the Fall, my hands crumble together and I get headaches before the snow is ever on the ground.
Fall steals away the sun and turns the winds hostile.

I sit on couches with my headphones in and nothing playing,
begging the world to forget me
or at least
to let me be forgotten.

These are the words no one likes:
Sometimes it is so troubling that I exist at all.
Sometimes I’m trying my damndest to come up with a list of
one reason I do anything
one thing I care about
one person who would come if I were to call

and it’s not as if there aren’t things for the list
they just get covered over as the leaves Fall

I lost my earmuffs in the move.
I wash my hands too many times and the cracks bleed and I whisper warmth onto my fingertips, and I sing lies heavily into my own ears
I write and I write and I write and I leave out the tears.
I’m barely here.

I press my trembling hands over aching ears
cold to the touch, and red
sensitive to the kinds of things no one wants to believe you can hear
like the time the things I gave her hit the bottom of the trash can
and I heard it like my ears were drums
pulsing to the beat of recycled love poems
like every sheet of paper was a rhythm
in the song of why we can’t keep holding on
and I didn’t have to be there, or to even know where there was
to hear her pull the plug
and drain out any lingering love.
It was so loud, I had to cover my ears
and the noise drowned out my own heartbeat
and the tearing was all I could hear…
like the part of me that lived in those letters was severed
and what survived I did not know.

I lost my earmuffs in the move,
and I didn’t notice until the Fall came
and I tore apart the house,
finally unpacked all those boxes we never got around to
turned them upside down
desperate, and with desperate hope
screaming about how it was all too loud!
I’m tired! I’m tired of hearing it!
like the time I laid eyes wide open in the pitch black of my new solitude
and heard her say “I love you” into the phone
and had to know
and I should have known
and I should have known to pack my earmuffs safely
and I should have known without them there’s no safety
I should know there’s no Falling safely.

I lost my earmuffs in the move,
and I found yours.

I couldn’t quite bring myself to include them
in the boxes and bags of the things
I brought to your door step in shambles
listened to you say that I couldn’t stay
knew I couldn’t go
told me not to come back
and I wasn’t trying to,
but all of a sudden I was pinned
rooted to the spot
and when I dragged my shaking body home
and remembered your earmuffs
I fell through.

I’m moving again soon
maybe then I’ll lose your earmuffs, too.
Ashley Wylde
April 24th, 2016

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