If Only

If only.
If only, I think, as I look back into my past and push aside the dark curtains that cover up memories and poke them like a cold stiff blanket, I think, if only.
If only, on my wedding day, had I known to be careful, cautious of vows that were written hastily, carelessly? Had I known it would be this hard, would I. Would I have stopped and put my finger to your lips and and shushed you, whispered,
“But do you mean it?”
If I had dove deeper into those wild eyes would I have seen things that have happened now, would I have seen into the future. Left to sob alone on our honeymoon, ignored like a paper cut, like something you wish you could tape shut and put in a box and stick in the closet when you get home. Like that. I just wanted you to hold me.
If only, I had paid attention. If I had seen the signs when we were kids. Your habitual pattern of leaving physically, emotionally. My habitual pattern of being fucked up. We live like ghosts, former versions of ourselves in our glory days, child and wild and free. I want, I want, I want so much for you to like me. Maybe to even really love me. To come home and tell me you want me, I’m the best thing that ever happened to you, that when I mess up you forgive me, you’re so happy you married me. I repeat those words over and over in my head, like sucking on hard candy. I wish, I wish, I wish. If only.

If only I didn’t make you mad. If only I didn’t make a sound. If only I didn’t hurt you. If only I were prettier. If only I were more adventurous. If only I were whole. If only I were quiet. If only I were incredible. If only I were perfect.
If only I were not I.
Then you would love me.
Oh, if only.

I sit and write and write and want to vomit the feelings that you tell me are wrong. The feelings that you tell me to get over, to learn how to handle, to grow up. But I cant. I cant I cant I cant I cant but I try I try I try I try I try so hard to be not me. Because thats what you want, right? You want me to staple my mouth shut and say all the right things like every other girl you should have chosen instead. But you made a mistake, like you tell me all the time. I was the wrong choice. I was the wrong one. I am wrong. And as if you know me, as if you can simplify me you sum up my life in three words,
you are broken.
you are wrong.

If you knew, if you knew if you knew if you knew what that does to a little girl who just wants to be loved, to be liked, to be right and not wrong. If you knew. If only. I never thought I could break so badly, so mutilated and crushed and broken like you name me. If only, you couldn’t break me. If only.

It’s like I’m dead but I’m still breathing.

 

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