• By Sean Ignatuk (he/him)
  • Art “Plastic Hills” by Andra Veness (she/her)

In my version of things, you came home the morning after.
You held me and we cried.
I said, don’t you ever scare me like that again, and you held me closer.
In the afternoon I didn’t take my eyes off of you.
From there, we stayed away from the bad things and the bad thoughts,
And as if the sun saw your yellow dress, it took its time to set that evening.
Of course that’s just my version of things.
But this is where we lived.
This is what I have left.
And rust is the only promise that is ever kept.

Outside, there is a rusted chain link fence,
And the wind,
And the dried grass
And everyone you’ve ever loved.

I looked back and you were gone.
I am still asking for forgiveness.

I am still asking for forgiveness.
I am afraid that I am a bad man.
I am not the flower-shaped moon.
I wish I could turn around, and you’d be there.

The morning after it was quiet.
I never liked the quiet,
So I wrote you a song.
My songs don’t sound the same as they used to.

Where did you go?
Behind me, there is only a shadow and memory.
There is a chain link fence between loss and neglect.
There is the rust left behind,
And rust is the only promise that is ever kept.
My hands only feel like my own when they are brushing your
hair. I don’t know what to do with my hands anymore.

I had a dream about you.
You were standing far away, but your voice was close.
You said that you were afraid to die.
I told you that I loved you very much.
You asked if I was afraid. I said yes.
I asked you for forgiveness, and you asked why this
happened. I told you that I love you very much.
You said you were never any good at coming back.

I am sorry
I was never any good at looking away from you.